3 Red Flags to ID Scams

by Jurica Dujmovic
By Jurica Dujmovic

There's a wave of scams sweeping across the popular messaging app Telegram, promising free cryptocurrency and other rewards to users.

These scammers are using a variety of methods to lure victims, but there are some commonalities you can look out for to protect yourself.

Typically, these scams take the shape of messages sent by users posing as real cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets or other services — including Weiss Ratings.

Scammers will promise free rewards if you send a certain amount of crypto to a specific address. In some cases, the scammers will also create fake websites that look like the real thing — also known as phishing — to trick victims into sending crypto to their wallets.

So, how can you identify these scams?

The best way to protect yourself from Telegram scams is to be vigilant about the messages you receive on the app. If you're not sure about the sender, or the message preview looks suspicious, it's best to delete it and move on.

But let's say you recognize the sender and want to investigate further. Here are three red flags indicating a scam:

1. Poorly written: Many Telegram scams use poor grammar and spelling.

2. Urgency: There will usually also be a sense of urgency in their messages telling you to act right away in order to pressure you.

3. Questionable links: It's possible the scammers may include a link as well. Don't click it right away — look at the address for any weird spelling or typos. Then, hover your mouse over the address to see if the actual embedded link matches the written address.

If anything doesn't match up, then chances are it's a scam.

What to Do If You Believe a Message Is a Scam

If you do receive a Telegram scam message, make sure you report it to the app so proper actions can be taken against the scammer.

And, of course, don't forget to warn your friends and family about the scam so they can avoid it as well.

If you're a member of any of our services, rest assured we'll never contact you through Telegram (or any other unofficial platform or channel) to ask for your password or other sensitive information.

On the same note, we'll never ask you to send us crypto. If you receive a message like this from us, it's definitely a scam.

Impersonators go to great lengths to create fake accounts, groups, websites and email addresses that look like they're from us. They might even create fake customer support channels on platforms like Telegram.

Don't be fooled. The best way to protect yourself is to use only official channels to interact with us, such as through this portal or by calling 1-877-934-7778 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Additional Steps to Shore Up Your Protection

Scammers may also try to hijack your account and use it to harm you or your friends and family.

To foil their plans, you should enable two-factor authentication for all your online accounts, including Telegram.

By requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password, 2FA adds an extra layer of security. The code will be unique each time you log in, and it'll be sent to your phone (usually via text or call).

This makes it much harder for scammers to gain access to your account, even if they have your password. You can enable 2FA for your Telegram account by going to Settings > Privacy and Security > Two-Step Verification.

Finally, remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't let the promise of free crypto tempt you into sending your hard-earned money to a scammer.

If you follow these tips, you'll be much less likely to fall victim to a Telegram scam.

So, be vigilant and stay safe out there!

Best,

Jurica

About the Editor

A MarketWatch columnist since 2014, Jurica covers science, technology, privacy, security and futurism, earning him the title of top three contributors for three consecutive years. At Weiss since 2011, he manages social media content and contributes regularly to Weiss Crypto Alert.

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