Protect yourself at all times from Scammers!

So you are a crypto trader, an ICO contributor, or one of the many who use Telegram for its stringent security standards and unique end-to-end encryption contained in its Secret Chats. Whatever the case may be, Telegram is the de facto messaging app for most crypto enthusiasts.

Now you’re ready… you roll up your sleeves, type in your personal and financial information – feeling comfortable and secure – and  send out your very first private message. You send it to some random people because with this fast, encrypted, free messaging app, you feel confident that the messenger’s self-destruct feature, will clear every detail in the message once your transaction has completed.

Everything you need from privacy to complete anonymity are all built in this robust messaging application. But unless you haven’t noticed yet, these are actually all the key features a scammer needs to plot and execute their destructive activities, seamlessly leaving behind any traces!

There are dozens of ways that I have personally identified of how opportunistic scammers play trade on their unsuspecting victims. Make no mistake, this is personal as I have lost my credibility once when a certain scammer impersonated me in a group wherein I was tasked to moderate and protect in which instance — I failed.

Scammers are constantly evolving their tactics in these modern times, with countless cunning tricks up their sleeves. I will not go into detail on how to identify these scammers because as for my personal experience, once you’re tricked into a scammer’s ploy, tracking his personal detail is near impossible.

Instead, I will lay out the “Don’ts” I personally use to avoid being a victim from these opportunistic scammers. You may call these “obvious”; you may call me “Mr. Obvious”, but if you take a couple minutes to hear me out, I bet you will find something helpful.

DON’T randomly ask questions in the Telegram group.

Asking questions is highly advised, as long as your questions are directed to the admins. Randomly asking questions is a giveaway for scammers — doing so makes you the perfect target as this oftentimes shows that you haven’t done your research or are simply a new guy in the group.

DON’T entertain INITIAL direct messages (DM).

Never entertain any direct messages from strangers, including group admins! You might be confused about why not from Admins. The reason is because it’s quite hard to differentiate an admin impersonator from the legit one, unless you have had a previous conversation with that particular admin in the past.

Most groups that I am currently in have a strict policy that Admins never contact group members “first” in any given situation. This being said, in the event that an admin seems to have contacted you “first” for whatever reason, one fool-proof way to validate that he is who he claims to be is to find and DM the admin that carries that name in the group and check the “admin tag” on top of his name, then DM him to confirm.

DON’T click any external links posted by regular group members.

Sure, I know, we all have our personal ways as to how we identify a legit link from a not-so-legit one to the obvious phishing or scamming links. And from my experience, it is way better and simpler to ignore these kinds of links rather than to give in to your curiosity and risk losing your money altogether.

Although, if you’re that confident and have let your curiosity take over your sanity, then DON’T ever give personal or sensitive data about your financial accounts, and DON’T even think about giving or sending any forms of cryptocurrency or Fiat currency to external addresses, unless you’ve completely lost your sanity!

Final Thoughts

Again, most of the precautionary methods I’ve outlined above are somewhat obvious. Some of you might be practicing it right now, but believe me, some don’t! Sometimes, the more obvious it is, the more we become careless and start to ignore the red flags.Remember — at the end of the day, no admin, moderator, group or channel is responsible for keeping your account and funds safe. Only YOU are! Do your own due diligence on every group you find interest in joining. DON’T fall for those scamming ploys that are obviously made to trick you. As the old adage goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

Originally published @ FreeHub (