Some people have become millionaires with digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Scammers are out to ruin it all, just like any good thing.
ST. LOUIS – Some people have become millionaires by using digital currencies such as Bitcoin. CashApp and PayPal offer access to more customers.
What is Bitcoin?
“Bitcoin is created using computer codes,” said Nasser Arashdi, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Finance and Legal Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis.
First, you should know that Bitcoin is not backed or issued by any government. Investors can buy and sell Bitcoin direct, without any banks involved. Transactions are completed in minutes, not days.
It is entirely online and there are no coins or paper. A Bitcoin can be thought of as a file on your computer or smartphone that you can store in a digital wallet app.
Experts say that every Bitcoin transaction is publicly listed on an online ledger.
It’s simpler and cheaper. Arshadi said that the promise isn’t inflationary. “I believe it’s changing financial picture for everyone.
Tiffany Gill was intrigued by Bitcoin and wanted to be a part of it. The mother of five planned ahead for her second wedding anniversary. Gill recalled that a friend at church had sent her a message about a Bitcoin investment opportunity.
Gill was attracted to Bitcoin by the excitement.
The messages of a friend promised huge returns. Gill stated that she wanted to invest $200. “I was told that I would receive 12 [hundred] dollars] from that $200.
She spent $400 on her own money after she purchased the Bitcoin through CashApp. To start the venture, she was required to take a photo of her state ID.
She discovered that the person who sold the plan to her was not who she claimed.
Gill said that she became more interested in the scam and was able to contact her via another social media platform. She discovered that her page had been hacked around a year ago.
Gill claims that her Facebook account was hacked shortly after she realized that she had been conned. Soon messages began to appear on Gill’s Facebook page about an investment scam. Friends and family members were eager to join the conversation.
“People send me messages asking if this is real. Gill said that people send me messages asking if this is real. “People report [my] pages and hopefully Facebook will take them down.
Gill, like many cryptocurrency hopefuls, never saw her money again and it didn’t bring the promised returns.
“I have money, credit, and a bank!” Gill said that it doesn’t make any sense to invest money in digital currency and then lose it.
Gill won’t be able find out where her money went. This is a problem that highlights the “crypto” part of cryptocurrency and what makes it so attractive to scammers.
Bitcoin owners can prove they have Bitcoin to use by looking at previous transactions that have assigned the Bitcoin to their account. Even though observers can see transactions associated with the same buyer or seller, the ledger does not contain details about the owner of a particular Bitcoin wallet or the Bitcoin purchased.
Be aware of the risks
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have lost $80 million since last October to cryptocurrency investment scams. It is the most common type of fraud that people in their 20s or 30s are falling prey to.
Scammers will continue to exploit the enthusiasm and increase in Bitcoin’s expected value, creating more opportunities to con people into believing they are being scammed.
Gill advises others to be cautious when approaching the craze.
Gill stated that if you don’t know what you are doing, you can easily be scammed.
Arshadi suggests using apps such as Coinbase, PayPal or CashApp to purchase digital currency and to keep it in an offline wallet so it can’t be stolen.
He advised that you only invest what you can afford to loose and not expect to make a quick profit.
Arshadi stated that he believes they will become less volatile as institutional investors get involved. These things can be volatile, so investors need to remember that. That’s okay if you can handle it.
You can report cryptocurrency-related fraud to the Federal Trade Commission online. Missourians can also file a complaint related to investment in cryptocurrencies to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Securities Division.