Justin’s note: If you’re investing in cryptocurrencies, today’s essay by Palm Beach Daily analyst Nick Rokke is required reading. It can save you from losing all of your gains in a matter of minutes.
Read on for Nick’s three key steps to avoid getting completely wiped out…
By Nick Rokke, analyst, The Palm Beach Daily
If you took Palm Beach Letter editor Teeka Tiwari’s advice and bought bitcoin and Ethereum on April 18, 2016, you’d be sitting on massive gains.
Bitcoin is up 2,272%. Ethereum is up 9,506%.
If you’d put $500 into each for an initial investment of just $1,000, you’d be sitting on $59,850 today.
For some subscribers, these crypto gains have changed their lives.
Now, imagine waking up and realizing all of your gains are completely wiped out. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
For thousands of people, this was a scary reality. They weren’t careful—and lost everything in a matter of minutes.
You see, making huge gains in cryptos doesn’t mean anything if you don’t protect them.
Once your coins are gone, they’re gone for good. There is no recourse in getting your coins back—even if they were stolen.
That’s why this essay is so important.
Below, I’m going to tell you more about this recent scam that duped so many people. More importantly, I’ll show you how to make sure this kind of thing never happens to you.
The $50 Million Scam
What I was referring to above is a $50 million, three-year-old bitcoin scam that recently came to light with the help of internet giant Cisco and Ukranian cyber police.
This specific scam was a “phishing” scam. A phishing scam is when the perpetrators try to get you to click on a link that looks like a trusted service (like a bank). Once there, the bad guys hope to trick you into unveiling sensitive information, like your login credentials.
In this case, the scammers imitated the website Blockchain.info. This is a popular website in the crypto community… and more importantly for this scam, a very popular wallet for storing bitcoins.
The scammers set up sites virtually identical to Blockchain.info. The only difference was the web address. Instead of “Blockchain,” they created web addresses for “blokchien”.info, “block-clain”.info, and “blokchien”.info/wallet.
Then, they bought ads so the scam addresses would show up at the top of a Google search. It looked like this:
After someone searched for Blockchain.info (or Blockchain.com—they’re the same site), the fake sites would appear at the top because of the paid ads. This is where unsuspecting people went wrong. They clicked on the ads for the fake sites.
The fake sites look exactly the same as the real site. So unless the person saw the website address was different, they would proceed like nothing was wrong.
Then they would set up a wallet at the fake site. The wallet address where they sent their coins would not be for a valid wallet. It would be for the wallet owned by the fraudsters.
And like we said above, once you send your bitcoins, they are gone for good.
How to Protect Yourself
There are a few critical things you can do to protect yourself.
1. Make sure the web address is the real one. Not a fake one. You also might be better off carefully typing in the address yourself.
If you’re not sure, we put together a free PDF for you that shows the best ways to store cryptos, including our recommended exchanges and wallets. Click here to view it.
If you don’t see the wallet or exchange you want to use on our list, it could still be fine. You’ll just have to verify that the web address is the correct one before you set anything up.
Make sure you know what the web address is and how to spell it. And verify the web address before entering any personal information.
If the web address looks funny, it probably is. A little common sense goes a long way here.
2. The next thing—and one thing I always do when sending cryptos to a new address—is to send a small amount to yourself. I’ll send just a few dollars’ worth of bitcoin and verify it showed up before sending more.
That way if your bitcoin doesn’t show up, you know you’re either part of a scam or made a typo. Either way, you only lost a small amount.
3. Always double-check send and receive addresses. Another sneaky scam involves a virus lurking on your computer. And it only affects bitcoin wallet transactions.
What happens is, because these bitcoin wallet addresses are so long, almost everyone just copies and pastes them before sending.
The creators of this virus know this… and whenever you paste something that could be a bitcoin address, it will change whatever you copied to their bitcoin address. And those bitcoins are gone forever.
So always make sure to double-check your addresses very carefully before sending. Don’t rely on copying and pasting.
Cryptocurrencies are extremely profitable, and will continue to be. But there are additional risks. We need to be careful to avoid these scams.
Remember these key guidelines. Print them out and keep them handy. You’ll keep your crypto gains safe and avoid future scams.
Nick Rokke, CFA
Analyst, The Palm Beach Daily
Justin’s note: Following Nick’s advice above is crucial. As I’ve mentioned in the Dispatch many times over the past few months, bitcoin is here to stay. In fact, another rally is just getting started…
My colleague, cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari, says that on April 2, a massive shift in how big institutions treat bitcoin will take place. And it could send bitcoin’s price 20 times higher. What’s more, there are three plays that could soar even higher than bitcoin. Here’s everything you need to know to profit.
Today, more kind words for Doug:
Doug Casey says everything that I would like to say. My problem, like most people, is that I cannot put it into words like he can. I've printed out articles written by Doug in the past because I thought I would pass it on to someone with an interest. Unfortunately, I have not found many takers.
That just tells me what I kind of know—we are doomed to repeat what every once-successful society has done in the past: Collapse from a combination of ignorance and arrogance.
Doug is likely correct. No BS. If you are receiving opposition without facts, Doug is likely right. Probably would have no responses if opposition had to truthfully state their success in life that lead to their wisdom.
If you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.