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Your Guide to Web 3.0 Safety in 2024: How to Avoid Crypto Scams and More


web3-safety-avoiding-crypto-scams


As our community members are aware, at Rejuve.AI, we champion Web3 through and through. It’s not just an exciting suite of technologies for us; it represents the pathway to creating a decentralized wellness ecosystem where individuals have the power to manage their health and longevity.


However, as we continue to progress towards this vision, we also encounter the unfortunate reality of scams proliferating at an alarming rate.


Web3, like any technological advancement, has its share of nefarious individuals seeking to exploit the system for personal gain. These scams often come at a significant cost to individuals who fall victim to them. To put that into perspective, the cryptocurrency space alone has seen approximately $1 billion lost to various scams between January 2021 and June 2022, as reported by the Federal Trade Commission.


It’s important to recognize that even reputable organizations are not immune to exploitation by scammers. Lately, scammers have successfully placed fraudulent applications in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, bypassing security measures and making it easier to deceive unsuspecting users.


It’s not uncommon even for a scam app to land the first spot on a store’s search results for tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum. For example, a scam app imitating the widely-used Bitcoin hardware wallet “Trezor” was published on Apple’s App Store and successfully took control of over $120,000 in STX3. Likewise, more than 170 Android applications, including some found on the Google Play store, deceived over 93,000 crypto owners.


In light of these challenges, it’s imperative that we remain vigilant and informed about the risks associated with Web3. That’s why we’re sharing this guide with our Rejuve community members. We want to empower you with the knowledge and tools to protect yourselves from both traditional and emerging scams.


Whether it’s recognizing common tactics used by scammers or staying updated on the best security practices, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Let’s start with the most common types of scams you should be wary of as a Web3 user:


Phishing


Phishing is one of the earliest forms of scams that emerged with the dawn of Web 2.0. And unfortunately, phishing scams are sticking around for Web3 as well, at least for now. They typically involve tricking victims into revealing sensitive information, such as private keys or wallet passwords, by impersonating legitimate entities. Scammers often use emails, text messages, or fake websites that closely resemble authentic platforms. They lure victims with deceptive messages, such as security alerts or promising high returns. Once the victims enter their details, scammers gain access to their crypto assets.


Airdrop Scams


Airdrop scams are a type of crypto fraud where scammers promise free tokens or “airdrops” to users. Typically in these scams, fraudsters pretend to be reputable individuals or organizations in the crypto space. They announce airdrops and ask users to provide their wallet addresses or complete certain tasks to receive the free tokens. However, these tokens either don’t exist or the tasks are designed to steal sensitive information or funds. It’s important to note that legitimate crypto companies do occasionally use airdrops as a marketing strategy. However, they never require users to share private keys or send funds like scammers do.


For example, as we’ve shared through our 2024 roadmap, Rejuve.AI is planning on holding an RJV token airdrop for AGIX. When that time comes, communication will be key. We’ll be sharing official links and detailed instructions across all our social channels to help keep participants informed and secure.


Giveaway Scams


Giveaway scams are a deceptive form of crypto fraud where scammers promise substantial rewards in exchange for a smaller upfront deposit. They announce fake giveaways, asking users to send a small amount of cryptocurrency to a specified address with the promise of receiving a larger amount in return. However, once the initial deposit is made, the promised rewards are never delivered. Similar to airdrops, it’s crucial to remember that legitimate giveaways never require an upfront payment.


Business Opportunity Scams


Business opportunity scams are when scammers present fraudulent investment opportunities. These scams often promise high returns with little risk and may claim to be part of the booming crypto industry. The scammers typically use professional-looking websites and persuasive sales tactics to lure potential investors. Unfortunately, once the victims invest their cryptocurrencies, the scammers disappear, and the promised returns never materialize.


AI Crypto Scams


AI crypto scams are a sophisticated form of crypto fraud that leverages bots or algorithms designed to manipulate cryptocurrency markets or deceive investors. For instance, scammers may use AI to create realistic-looking fake social media profiles using deep fakes or websites to impersonate legitimate crypto businesses. They may also use AI to carry out complex market manipulations, such as ‘pump and dump’ schemes, where they artificially inflate the price of a cryptocurrency before selling off their holdings, causing the price to crash and leaving other investors out of pocket. Scammers may also use AI chatbots or virtual assistants to provide investment advice, promote fake tokens and initial coin offerings (ICO), or offer fake high-yield investment opportunities.



Now, that’s plenty of ways to go about scamming Web3 users and investors. Fortunately, most of these scams require similar rules of diligence to avoid them. Let’s take a look at these crucial tips on how to protect yourself from scammers.



1- Never Share Your Seed Phrase or Private Key with Anyone


If you have a safe box at home, it’s ancient wisdom that you’d never give its key, physical or digital, to a stranger for any reason. You should follow the same discretion with your crypto wallet. Your private key and seed phrase are meant to be secrets. So, make sure they stay that way and guard them diligently.


Of course, numerous web-based wallets exist that do that for you. Some even don’t share your own private key with you for purported better security. However, some like Elon Musk have long warned against this practice. Instead, you might opt for cold, offline storage of your private key; be that through sophisticated hardware wallets or simply writing it on a hidden piece of paper.


2- Do Not Click on any Suspicious Links or Attachments


Whenever you come across links, particularly on social platforms such as Discord or Telegram, it’s crucial to seek out official sources. Take a moment to check the URLs, noting whether they end with .com, .io, or another valid extension. Stay vigilant for subtle tricks, like substituting lowercase “L” with uppercase “I” as these can lead to deceptive websites.


3- Know Your Ecosystem


Speaking of suspicious links, you need to be familiar with the links of the Web3 ecosystem you’re involved in and cross-verify with every step you take. Here are our official links if you’re a part of the Rejuve.AI ecosystem:


Telegram Community Channel: https://t.me/rejuvecommunity

Telegram Announcements Channel: https://t.me/rejuvenetwork


To familiarize yourself with the ecosystem, you should also take a moment to get to know our team, including our admins on Telegram:

Stuart Hall | Community Manager: @stuartgh

Melissa Lowry | Marketing Director: @melissadlowry

Jasmine Smith | CEO: @ZollieDollie

Elvira Khismatullina | Partnerships/Business Development Manager: @Allavira


The profiles above, along with any others carrying Admin tags, are the only ones that represent the Rejuve.AI team on our Telegram channels.


IMPORTANT NOTE: They’ll never initiate a direct line of messages with you for any reason whatsoever. They’ll only reply to your messages. So, if you ever receive an unsolicited direct message from someone claiming to be representing Rejuve.AI, then that would be an obvious sign you’re talking to a scammer!


As you know, Rejuve.AI is a part of the wider SingularityNET ecosystem. So, it’s important to also be familiar with their official links:


Community Telegram Channel: https://t.me/singularitynet

Telegram Announcements Channel: https://t.me/snetann

SingularityNET Bridge: https://bridge.singularitynet.io/

SingularityDAO Website: https://singularitydao.ai/

SingularityDAO Telegram Announcements Channel: https://t.me/sdaoann


4- Do Test Transactions


Of course, there are legitimate ways to participate in the world of crypto. But with scammers always looming, one way to play it safe is to run test transactions. When you’re interacting with a new wallet, a test transaction involves sending a small amount, such as $10 worth, to ensure the accuracy of the recipient’s address and to detect any potential issues.

This preventive step can help you avoid common scams, including address poisoning and honeypots, which could rob your funds. By verifying transactions in this manner, you add an extra layer of security to your crypto dealings, safeguarding your assets from potential threats.


5- Exercise Caution with New Contract Addresses


New scams have emerged that exploit the inherent trust users place in smart contracts. These scams cleverly disguise themselves as legitimate contracts, luring users to interact with them. However, hidden deep within the contract’s code are malicious functions. Once triggered, these functions can drain the user’s wallet of its funds or lock their assets indefinitely, causing significant financial loss. So, it’s crucial to only interact with contracts from trusted sources and to understand the code you’re interacting with.


6- Install Security Software


Consider installing reputable security software such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and AVG Antivirus. This software acts as a crucial shield against various online threats prevalent in the Web3 space, including malware and phishing attempts. By leveraging such software’s robust features, you can significantly enhance the security of your crypto transactions and interactions within decentralized networks.


7- Learn to Identify the Red Flags of a Scammer


It’s crucial to recognize the warning signs of potential scams in the Web3 space. If an investment promises unusually high returns with minimal risk, it’s likely a scam. Typically, high returns accompany high risks. If you encounter a crypto offer that seems too good to be true, trust your instincts; it probably is. Nobody gives away free crypto without a catch, and thorough research can expose baseless claims.


Remain cautious of unsolicited messages and suspicious links as we mentioned earlier. Finally, carefully read the web pages and whitepapers of any Web3 project that interests you. For one, this will help you learn more about the project’s objectives and technology to assess its potential. Secondly, reviewing such material can reveal inconsistencies, poorly articulated concepts, or vague promises, which are often red flags indicating potential scams.


Conclusion


At the end of the day, DYOR — do your own research — is the most common and most valuable advice you can get in Web3. While this guide may help, new scams will inevitably arise, necessitating ongoing vigilance. Keep yourself in the know, as the industry holds immense potential but also risks. Protect yourself and your assets by staying updated on the latest in Web3. Stay safe, stay informed, and together, let’s shape a secure and prosperous future in the world of decentralized technologies.


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