As cryptocurrencies grow in popularity around the globe, so does the opportunity for scammers and hackers to dupe users and drain their crypto wallets. But by following a few simple best practices, you can keep your crypto wallet safe from the nefarious criminals who are trying to steal your beloved Bitcoin, dynamite DOGE, sublime SHIB, or other digital assets.
The Hazards of Cryptocurrency Scams
One of the most common types of crypto scams are phishing campaigns, waged by cybercriminals looking to lure unsuspecting users into revealing sensitive information like login credentials, passwords, private keys, or recovery seed phrases. Phishing campaigns are typically executed through email, fraudulent websites, phony SMS messages or other seemingly legitimate messaging platforms, but they are merely clever fakes.
How to Spot Phishing Attacks
How do you spot phishing and keep the crooks away from your precious crypto? It helps to know what to look out for and how to spot the imposters.
One common tactic used in phishing campaigns is to impersonate legitimate websites associated with crypto hardware wallet providers. Attackers often send out emails or direct messages that appear to come from the wallet provider, requesting users to verify their account information, update their firmware or even enter their recovery seed phrases. Unsuspecting users who follow the link provided are taken to a convincing replica of the wallet provider's website, where they unknowingly enter their credentials, which are then captured by the attackers.
Phishers may also target users by creating malicious browser extensions designed to look like legitimate wallet-related tools. These extensions might promise enhanced functionality or integration with other services but are designed to steal private keys and other sensitive data.It is recommended that crypto consumers ONLY download extensions from official sources and verify their authenticity before installation.
Be on the lookout for messages that ask you to act urgently. Phishing scams often deploy social engineering techniques to manipulate users emotionally or psychologically, creating a false sense of urgency by declaring users must act on something in a specific time frame. They might impersonate customer support representatives or send urgent messages claiming that the user's account is at risk. This sense of urgency can push individuals to act hastily without carefully verifying the source, potentially falling victim to the swindle.
Tips to Protect Your Crypto Assets
While phishing campaigns can be sophisticated, users can take simple proactive steps to protect themselves and their crypto assets:
Verify Website URLs: There is an old saying in journalism, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” It’s the same with clicking on URLs. Always double-check the URL of any website or link before entering sensitive information. Legitimate crypto hardware wallet providers use secure and recognizable domains.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enable MFA on all accounts, especially those associated with your crypto hardware wallet. This adds an extra layer of protection, even if your login credentials are compromised.
Bookmark or Search Official Websites: Either bookmark the official website for your crypto wallet, or search for it using a search engine, and use that link for all interactions.
Beware of Unsolicited Messages: Be cautious of emails, messages, or DMs from unknown sources, especially if they request personal information or ask you to click on suspicious links.
Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest phishing techniques and stay informed about common scams in the crypto space. And if you have a question about the legitimacy of a message you receive, reach out to the wallet provider’s customer support to verify it before you take any action. If a message is asking you to supply personal information immediately, chances are it’s a scam.
Phishing campaigns targeting crypto hardware wallet users are an unfortunate reality in the digital age, and scammers are endlessly clever in the ways they try to separate users from their digital assets.
At Arculus, we encourage our users to follow cybersecurity best practices, be on the lookout for scammers and phishing attacks, and to know that you should never share your recovery seed phrase with anyone. Arculus will never ask you for it.
Arculus is here to help protect your digital assets and put you in control of your private keys. But you are your own best protection against social engineering and phishing campaigns.