Many people bought their first Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in recent years. Because they’re still such a novelty, many people didn’t really know what they were doing.
That led to many losing a lot of money due to the fall in the value of crypto but also due to an influx of scammers.
In this article, we’re putting a spotlight on the most popular Cash App Bitcoin scams as well as on how to recognize and protect yourself against scams. Here are the five most popular Cash App Bitcoin scams:
- Bitcoin Giveaway Scam
- Bitcoin Investing Scams
- Crypto Romance Scams
- Bitcoin Imposters
- Phishing Scams
The 5 Cash App Bitcoin Scams
There are plenty of different Bitcoin scams out there. Most of them don’t include Cash App in particular, but they also can. Because it’s so easy to buy the crypto on Cash App, as well as transfer it, it’s often used by scammers for transfers.
Add to that the fact that millions of people already have it installed on their phones, and it’s easy to see why scammers might often use it for their nefarious purposes. Here are just some of the most widespread Bitcoin scams involving Cash App.
1. Bitcoin Giveaway Scam
Giveaway scams are nothing new. Some would call the lottery a scam. Nevertheless, nowadays, official social media accounts of celebrities, athletes, politicians, and even billionaires are getting hacked in order to spread fake giveaways.
Perpetrators will impersonate famous people to take advantage of their followers by trying to get them to send Bitcoin to their wallets. They usually offer to double, triple, or even 10x the money sent.
Once you send them the Bitcoin, the money is gone and so are the scammers. Although not a Cash App scam per se, some of the victims must have used the app to buy the Bitcoin and transfer it to the scammers’ wallets.
Out of pure simplicity, and availability of the app, the amount of Bitcoin purchases on the Cash App skyrocketed ever since the service was introduced.
2. Bitcoin Investing Scams
Cash App transactions are final. Meaning that when you pay someone or send them your Bitcoin, you will most likely never get it back. You may not be aware of the fact, but the scammers certainly are.
Therefore, there’s an abundance of Bitcoin investing scams involving Cash App where you get “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to invest money and get astronomic returns.
All you need to do is buy some Bitcoin on Cash App and transfer it over to the person selling you on investing with them.
Not only are some of these types of investing scams very elaborate and long-term, but they can suck you into making multiple transfers as soon as they give you a return on your first investment.
For instance, you might start with only a $50 investment. After a couple of hours, the scammers will send you back $80 for an easy $30 profit. That will wet your beak and you’ll get greedy.
Your next transfer might be a couple of thousands of dollars and at that point, you’re on the hook. They will try to get you to “invest” even more or you won’t get your money back at all.
And so, the vicious circle begins.
3. Crypto Romance Scams
Romance scams have been around for a VERY long time. Not only are they super successful in scamming people out of their money, but they have adapted to modern times.
In most cases, a romance scam is a long play that can take weeks or even months to unravel. It often starts on Tinder or Instagram, for example, and targets both men and women.
People don’t get suspicious until the very end when the money is long gone. In a typical Bitcoin romance scam, the scammer will sweet talk their way into your heart promising you long walks on the beach, fancy dinners, and adventurous trips together.
After a few weeks of getting to know each other, the scammer will let you in on a secret – their uncle is a Goldman Sachs insider and is an EXPERT in Bitcoin.
As your interest in this topic starts growing, so does your greed and lust for easy money. It’s all so exciting. You’ve met a soulmate and now you’re both going to be rich!
However, after you start investing (in official and real crypto apps like Cash App or crypto.com), you’ll be asked to transfer the investment into a third-party exchange or wallet.
From there, you won’t be able to recover the money anymore and that’s usually the end of the line for your money and your love.
Losing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in these types of scams is nothing unheard of.
4. Bitcoin Imposters
According to the FTC, 14% of documented losses to imposters of all kinds are nowadays in cryptocurrency.
Imposters are again, nothing new. People were representing as someone else, probably since the dawn of time. In today’s world, that can be arguably even easier to do.
Scammers will use emails or messaging apps to act as if they are your friend, business partner, associate, government official, etc.
The prelude to this is that they were probably aware of your previous communication with said person and know how to impersonate them.
They will ask you to quickly send them money for a transaction or an emergency. Because you probably have no reason to suspect them, you will comply and send money or Bitcoin via Cash App or some other way.
5. Phishing Scams
According to the Federal Trade Commission, people reported losing $294 million in cryptocurrency to fraudsters and scammers in 2021. To put that into perspective, they “only” lost around $44 million in credit card payments to them.
Phishing scams try to trick you into clicking on a link to get some of your sensitive information such as bank or Cash App account login, phone number, Social Security Number, credit card info, or anything else you’re willing to provide them in an online form.
The form itself will look like an official Cash App website. The phishing attempts come from phone calls, robo-calls, emails, text messages, DMs, etc.
Sometimes, all you have to do is click or tap on a compromised link and that will install malware on your device, without ever needing to fill out a form with your data.
How to Recognize a Scam
It’s relatively easy to spot the companies and people trying to scam you:
- They guarantee to make you money
- They promise you’ll make a profit
- There’s a celebrity endorsement or testimonials
- Scammers promise big payouts with assured returns
- Scammers will promise free cash or cryptocurrency
- They make big claims without details or valid explanations
Nobody can guarantee a set return or to double, triple, or even 10x your money.
Savvy business people like to understand how their investment will work, and where their funds are going. On the other hand, a good investment advisor will eagerly want to explain it to you.
Before you invest, research online for the name of the company, cryptos name, plus, and this is important, words such as “review,” “fraud”, “scam,” or “complaint.”
Always check out what other people are saying. Never trust the scammer’s claims at face value and educate yourself about other common investment scams before pulling the trigger.
How To Report Cryptocurrency Scams
You can easily report fraud, scams, and other dubious activity involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to:
- FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at sec.gov/tcr
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) at CFTC.gov/complaint
- Crypto exchange you used to transfer the money
How to Withdraw Bitcoin
At any time, you can easily withdraw your Bitcoin from Cash App to a third-party Bitcoin or crypto wallet. To do this:
- Toggle to BTC by tapping “USD” on the Cash App’s home screen
- Choose Bitcoin
- Type in the amount of Bitcoin you want to draw (you can switch between BTC or USD)
- Either tap “Send” to enter your Bitcoin wallet address manually or tap the top left corner of the screen to find the QR code scanner
- Tap wallet address to confirm
- Tap “Next”
- Choose the withdrawal speed
- Tap “Confirm & Send” to start the withdrawal
People withdrawing Bitcoin for the first time may have to enter further personal info before making a withdrawal.
To complete a withdrawal using Cash App’s standard withdrawal speed you have to withdraw at least 0.001 Bitcoin. To withdraw using the Rush and Priority methods of withdrawal, you have to choose at least 0.00005 Bitcoin.
We showed you some of the most popular Cash App Bitcoin scams today. Now that you know what to look out for, try to stay safe while using digital banks such as Cash App.
Adrian Volenik is a fintech enthusiast who loves testing and reviewing digital banking apps and financial products in general. How many digital banking accounts can one man have? Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.