Bitcoin Scams 2021 and 2020 & Bitcoin Scams Solved!

Protect yourself from Bitcoin Scam! Have you ever participated in an ICO? Then you might know this: No sooner do you enter the official Telegram channel of the company you might want to invest in than you receive the first private messages.

The sender profiles are hardly distinguishable from those of the administrators, they use the same names and the profile pictures. "Hey, we're giving out special bonuses, interested?"

Such supposed give-aways are usually initiated by fraudsters who hijack the identities of the administrators and try to pull the wool over investors' eyes.

It is unclear how many people are defrauded of their money in this way. Users have not only had experiences with crypto scams on the Darknet. Your email inbox, your social media accounts and your browser are wide open windows to the world. Anyone can become a victim.

In the following article, we will show you the most well-known Bitcoin scams, how to protect yourself from Bitcoin scams, and finally, reputable ways to make money with cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin Scams 2021 and 2020: Bitcoin Scams from A to Z

Scammers are creative when it comes to stealing other people's savings. They resort to wild tricks and often spare no effort to lure their victims into flimsy investments, get their access data or simply blackmail them.

The following list shows typical Bitcoin scams and helps you recognise a scam before you fall for it.

1. bitcoin blackmail

Blackmail emails claiming, for example, that someone has collected data on you are unfortunately not uncommon. This popular Bitcoin scan often involves threats to disclose sensitive information.

Also common are emails claiming that your computer has been hacked and is being remotely controlled by the attacker. Such Bitcoin extortions have become increasingly common in the recent past.

The attackers demand that you transfer Bitcoin to their wallet and threaten you with consequences if you do not. You should definitely ignore such emails. They are Bitcoin spam mails, and there is usually nothing behind them.

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2. fake bitcoin exchanges

To buy cryptocurrencies, there is hardly any way around the stock exchange. However, there are exchanges that do not really exist.

These fake Bitcoin exchanges lure you with particularly low prices and promise that you can get your Bitcoin quickly and easily.

When buying Bitcoin, you should stick to exchanges that keep their promises and distrust offers that are too good to be true. Otherwise, you might fall for a Bitcoin fraud or Bitcoin scan.

Exchange certificates

3. crypto giveaways

Also not uncommon in the Bitcoin Scam are supposed giveaways in which scammers claim that cryptocurrency will be given away as part of a marketing campaign.

In this Bitcoin fraud, the scammers ask you to transfer a small amount of Bitcoin to confirm your identity.

They often use fake accounts that look very similar to those of the companies. You should report such offers to the platform where you encounter them to protect other users from harm.


4. identity theft

Imitating other people is easy on the internet. Often all that is needed is a name and a profile photo, which is simply taken over. Real identity theft goes one step further.

As soon as the attackers have enough personal data, they place orders in the name of the person concerned or even conclude contracts.

The resulting damage can be enormous. To get the information they need, the attackers promise gifts, for example, and ask their targets to reveal their data, such as their address and a date of birth.

You can protect yourself by never reacting when someone unexpectedly promises you a fancy gift - and generally being careful about where you leave what personal data.

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5. Malware

Malware is the term used to describe small programmes that often infiltrate their recipients' computers unnoticed via spam mails or malicious websites. Some malware programmes are able to manipulate transactions.

Anyone who uses a browser wallet, for example, should therefore double and triple check whether the recipient's address is correct for a transaction - because the small programmes often change the addresses in the input masks unnoticed. Beware of this crypto scam!

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6. personal meetings

Actually a smart idea: instead of registering with an exchange, you could also buy your Bitcoin from a private person. But beware:

If you don't know the person, you run the risk of being trapped and robbed on the spot. So you should only get involved in such meetings if you really know the seller personally.

Instead, you could look for Bitcoin regulars' tables. At these events you will be surrounded by many people and will usually find someone offering their cryptocurrencies for sale on the spot.

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7. phishing emails

Phishing emails such as Bitcoin spam emails are usually used to learn passwords. Recipients are often asked to reset their PayPal password, for example. It is not always easy to recognise the scammer straight away.

It can help to take a closer look at the sender's address, Google it or contact the service provider directly. It is best not to react to such mails at all.

If you are asked to change your password and you want to make sure you don't do anything wrong, don't use the link from the email. Instead, visit your provider's website and change your password manually.

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8. phishing websites

Just like phishing e-mails, phishing websites aim to steal users' access information. Often these websites are linked from phishing emails. Often they are almost perfect duplicates of the official company websites.

Therefore, always watch out for irregularities in the website address and avoid as much as possible links that you receive by e-mail or other means from third parties. You should certainly not install software if you are asked to do so.

Advertisements are also used to spread phishing websites. Beware of strange-looking links and look three times before entering your login details on a website.

Wallets - Possession

9. ponzi scheme

Ponzi scheme "Double your Bitcoin", such and other tempting promises exist in the so-called Ponzi scheme. In the Ponzi scheme, investors are promised guaranteed returns with an upfront payment.

The scheme deceives victims into believing that the reported profits come from product sales or other funds. In fact, however, the source of funds is other investors.

Only the initiators can profit here, the remaining investors usually lose their money. Keep your fingers away if there is talk of "Double your Bitcoin" or "BTC Doubler".

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10. Pump'n'Dump

Behind the pump'n'dump method are often larger groups that try to persuade as many people as possible to invest in a cryptocurrency by claiming to know how the price will behave.

In this way, the aim is to artificially increase the price of the currency so that those behind it can dispose of their investments at a profit. The baited investors, on the other hand, lose.

No one can reliably predict the price trend of a cryptocurrency. If someone claims it, you should distance yourself from them.

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11. Pyramid scheme

To join an investor group, you are asked to pay a joining fee. You are also asked to recruit as many other investors as possible. For each new member you receive a reward.

Each person should pay out shares to the person who recruited them for each new member they recruit. The more members you recruit, the higher your regular payments will theoretically be, and the earlier you join, the higher your profit will be. Right? Wrong!

These snowballs trigger avalanches that eventually reach a valley where they resoundingly burst apart. Because sooner or later, in such systems built on exponential growth, there are no more new members.

Then, at the latest, the newer investors go empty-handed. Ponzi schemes have been around for decades and are strictly forbidden in most countries for good reasons. Fraud victims have also had experiences with Ponzi schemes on the Darknet.


12. Ransomware

Ransomware is software that partially or completely blocks access to a computer or other device until the victim pays a ransom. Ransomware attacks on UK hospitals made headlines early last year.

Anyone affected by such Bitcoin extortion will not get anywhere without the help of a professional. To prevent this from happening in the first place, follow our advice given in the previous points: Do not click on any links that come from senders you do not know.

Never give your personal details on websites unless you are absolutely sure who they belong to. And avoid installing unfamiliar software on your computer, especially software that requires administrator rights.

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13. scam coins

Scam coins are altcoins that attempt to collect investor funds with no intention of building a business from which investors could profit. They are solely concerned with convincing investors to invest.

Anyone who invests here is guaranteed never to see their money again. Especially in the ICO segment, you should be careful and check carefully whether there is a valid white paper, whether the founders present themselves transparently, whether there are real partnerships with other companies, and what securities, if any, are offered to you.

Be aware that hype can also be artificially generated. Occasionally, even popular cryptocurrencies like OneCoin are suspected by experts of being crypto scams.

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What are Bitcoin scams 2021?

Bitcoin scams, crypto hacks and other criminal activities are not uncommon in the crypto scene. So that you are armed against them, we want to throw a spotlight on the most common scams on this page and explain how you can protect yourself. Knowledge is power!

The term scam comes from the English language and means something like "scam, fraud, cheating". Tracking scammers on the internet is often difficult because they cleverly disguise their identities with the help of proxies or TOR software.

The term scam is not exclusively applied to scams on the internet, but to scammers in general, who mainly target private individuals.

There are very many different scams and Bitcoin scams. These include the Bitcoin spam mails, the Bitcoin extortion, the Ponzi scheme and more. Hackers are more technically adept, using phishing to gain access to wallets or exchange accounts, for example, without the people affected noticing.

Bitcoin Scams 2020 and earlier: The most notorious scams

Even today, the history of cryptocurrencies is peppered with spectacular hacks and Bitcoin scams. We present the most famous ones.

The great hack of MtGox

Mt.Gox K.K. was one of the world's largest trading sites for Bitcoins. The company was founded in 2009 and was initially dedicated to trading trading trading cards before it was converted into a Bitcoin exchange in 2010.

Within a very short time, Mt.Gox gained extreme importance. At times, the exchange controlled more than 70 percent of all BTC transactions.


Mt.Gox was founded by Jeb McCaleb, who made a name for himself as CEO of Ripple before switching to the cryptocurrency Stellar Lumens, which you may have already had experience with on the darknet.

However, in early 2014, the Japanese exchange fell victim to a large-scale hack and subsequently lost Bitcoins at a staggering rate. Around 6 percent of all Bitcoins in circulation were affected.

This corresponded to an amount of 760,000 Bitcoins with an estimated equivalent value of 460 million euros. Today, the Bitcoins stolen at that time would be worth a total of 2.7 billion euros.

Many of the platform's customers were affected - even celebrities like Roger Ver are among the victims of this crypto scam. As a result, Mt.Gox had to cease operations and file for insolvency.

After the stolen Bitcoins were discovered in cold wallets, Mt. Gox is currently undergoing a civil rehabilitation programme in which the victims of the platform will be reimbursed for their losses.

The Mt. Gox hack went down in history as the first major hack of a crypto exchange.

The DAO Hack

The DAO was a decentralised, autonomous organisation and an early attempt to demonstrate the uses of smart contracts introduced to the crypto world with Ethereum. The DAO was historically the first organisation to be governed solely by algorithms:

A venture capital fund whose investments were democratically voted on by its participants. The service was entirely based on the Ethereum Blockchain, which was started by Vitalik Buterin. Interested parties could buy shares in the fund via a crowdsale, which were displayed in the form of a token.


The fund was intended to invest in both commercial and non-commercial projects, and especially, of course, in dApps - Ethereum's "decentralised applications" that use Ethereum's ERC20 standard, allowing companies to launch a crypto startup without having to develop their own blockchain.

However, the bold plans came to nothing: hackers exploited a vulnerability and scammed Ether worth almost 50 million US dollars during the crowdsale.

However, they could not access their loot: as long as the ICO was still running, all invested funds were frozen on the blockchain. All investments in the smart contract were blocked for 28 days.

The result of the hack was an Ethereum update that made a hard fork necessary. This resulted in today's Ethereum and the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic. The hackers are still not known.

The Bitconnect Bitcoin Scam

Bitconnect was a cryptocurrency with its own exchange and for years was suspected of being a Ponzi scheme.

Bitconnect is today an example for Bitcoin Scams, several memes are circulating in the net. The appearance of an eccentric Bitconnect speaker named Carlos Matos achieved extremely dubious fame.


Bitconnect was launched in February 2016 and was one of the most successful cryptocurrencies for a long time.

Users were invited to refer other users and were promised rewards in return, which the company distributed in the form of its own cryptocurrency BCC. Bitconnect promised users 120 percent annually.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. Investigative authorities quickly took notice of Bitconnect. Bitconnect's cryptocurrency BCC reached an all-time high of $437.31 in January 2018.

When US regulators issued a warning to the company and forced the closure of the trading platform, the value of the coins fell to around 1 US dollar in no time. Billions of investors' money was lost. Pending proceedings against the initiators of Bitconnect are still ongoing today. At present, Bitconnect is effectively dead.

The cryptocurrency OneCoin could experience a similar fate: OneCoin has also long been suspected of being a scam coin. Out of sheer caution, investors should keep their hands off OneCoin until it has been clarified whether there is any truth to the accusations or not.

Is Bitcoin itself fraud?

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency with the largest market capitalisation. Therefore, the coin is often used as a reference currency in crypto trading, similar to the US dollar for fiat currency. The technology behind the Bitcoin is open-source, i.e. public: everyone can understand the processes and due to the decentralisation, no one has sole control. If you are comfortable with the concept of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is clearly one of the most trustworthy coins.

How can we protect ourselves from Bitcoin Scams & Bitcoin Fraud?

The best weapons in the fight against Bitcoin scams, Ponzi schemes and other crypto frauds are, generally speaking, common sense, mindfulness when dealing with important data and our knowledge. On this page, we have introduced you to many typical Bitcoin Frauds.

But what exactly helps you if you don't want to become a victim yourself? Well, every investor can lose. So that you at least lose your money honestly and don't get ripped off, you can equip yourself with knowledge in our overview of Bitcoin scams further up on this page.

How the tricksters lure you into their trap

It is the viral mechanisms of the internet that guarantee that each of us will receive at least one Bitcoin spam mail and run the risk of becoming a victim of a crypto scam. There are no guaranteed securities.

The scammers play with our psychology, they cleverly appeal to our desires and preferences to tempt us into a mishap. After all, it has to be easy and make you rich as quickly as possible! Or is it? This is exactly the promise that tricksters use to lure you into their traps.

So exercise your eye and your mind: check the information available to you.

Is this e-mail sender who he claims to be?

Does my bank want me to change my password?

And what exactly is the address of the page this email links to: an official site?

And do I win a Lamborghini if I transfer just a tiny bit of Bitcoin to XY?

The author of these lines smirks and shakes his head with a smile: Don't be a fool. You are smarter than that. Just please never-never-never give out your personal data just because someone asks you for it.

When transacting with crypto wallets, make sure that the recipient's address is correct after each step, and don't get involved with strangers in your transactions, whether online or in private.
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Hands off pyramid schemes and the Ponzi scheme

  • You should also exercise particular caution with regard to ICOs. Look closely and do your own research to find out whether the company can really deliver what it promises.
  • In general, preliminary research into the cryptocurrencies you plan to invest in in 2021 can be extremely worthwhile. Perhaps if you search specifically, you will come across information that will save you from making a big mistake.
  • Generations of scammers have led people to lure their good friends and loved ones into Ponzi schemes, blissfully convinced that they would all get rich. This has never happened before.
  • Therefore, never get involved in a Ponzi scheme or a fastball system. Really don't. You are harming the people around you if you get them to invest in such Bitcoin scans. If your best friend talks down to you, do everything you can to protect them from further harm.


Bitcoin Fraud 2021 Conclusion - This is why regulations are important

Many Bitcoin scams are only possible because cryptocurrencies are still not subject to official regulations in many countries. That is why many investors and experts have been looking forward to these regulations for a long time.

The first noticeable progress has already been made in recent years. And only recently has  Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) started to get involved: In February, Bafin banned an ICO for the first time in the history of Initial Coin Offerings.

The regulations are becoming particularly important in light of the crypto winter that has been going on for a long time. Many investors have been severely unsettled since the Bitcoin bubble burst in the winter of 2017/2018. The intervention of the authorities could strengthen and regenerate investor confidence in the medium term.

It's best to stick to tried-and-tested investment forms and avoid anything that sounds too good to be true, so as not to fall for a fake Bitcoin or the "double your bitcoin" promise of Telegram user BTC Doubler.

And keep your hands off currencies that, like One Coin, are already suspected of operating fraudulently. The accusations against One Coin may or may not be true, but if they are, you certainly don't want to be one of the victims of the One Coin Scam.

Is it still worth investing in Bitcoin in 2021? And what about the other major cryptocurrencies? You can read that and more here.

Our recommendation: Buy cryptos with eToro

Incl. wallet
Buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly in the wallet
Paypal, credit card and instant bank transfer
Regulated provider
Real cryptos or CFD trades


What are the different types of Bitcoin Scam?

Scammers have developed various scams. For example, beware of Bitcoin extortion, fake Bitcoin exchanges, crypto giveaways, identity theft, malware, phishing mails and phishing websites, the Ponzi scheme, pump n dump, pyramid schemes, ransomware, scam coins and scam wallets.

How can I protect myself?

The article explains some helpful defence strategies. But most importantly, it remains important to never disregard the need for caution. Does an offer sound too good to be true? Then it might be a scam. No one on the Internet wants to give you money, so if you come across a dubious offer, first ask yourself the question.
ask yourself the question first: What does the other person get out of it?

I think I've been caught in a Bitcoin Scam! What can I do now?

Here on CryptoImprovementFund we have created a guide for such cases. Just follow the link above the FAQs.

Why are cryptocurrencies in particular so often abused for scams?

The blockchain provides a high degree of anonymity. Therefore, it is obvious that black sheep realise their scams with the help of the coins because prosecution is more difficult.

About the author

Hi there, my name is Zalman Weinberg. I'm enthusiast with over 7 years of experience in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Professional Trader providing Blockchain solutions to Startups and Enterprises. Expert in all cryptocurrency exchange APIs (BitMEX, Bittrex, Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, Gdax etc.). I have also worked with multiple Forex broker APIs.

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