The 3 Worst Scam Stories
Scammer Awareness Day
April 1st is the only day of the year where people actually expect to be punked or fooled. But there are 364 other days where you also shouldn’t let others fool you. We are talking about scammers. Of course, it would be exhausting and unpleasant to live like that every day of the year, but a healthy portion of awareness comes in handy.
We have collected the 3 worst scam efforts we ever witnessed to warn you about online thieves.
Mining cryptocurrencies is our passion, and many people would not have the chance to mine if it wasn’t for us. Because mining can be a complicated, intense, and tricky business if you want to do it right, and it is very risky, as sometimes your mining rewards are lower than your expenses to keep your operation running.
However, when you do it right, it can be quite lucrative, and so scammers love disguising themselves as crypto miners to promise exorbitant income. And people love believing they can hit the jackpot. Sure, you can earn some crypto with mining, but scammers sell a different idea: They promise you can triple your money in just a few months, and you just really want to believe it.
It is usually easy to spot a scam if you have common sense, but too many times that bulls**t is really believable.
There are a lot of different types of scam attempts. Luckily, most of them are not very elaborate. They are full of spelling mistakes, unprofessional language or unbelievable statements, but sometimes the creativity is pretty amazing, and too many times it works.
The crypto market has had its fair share of elaborate scams, ponzi schemes or pyramid games… Especially in the beginning (2010- 2017) as it was a largely unregulated industry, every second crypto business was a scam. Things have improved, and thanks to stricter measures and better regulation there are fewer such “businesses”
Since it has become harder for larger, visible entities to scam people, this misconduct now happens under the radar.
Individuals with fake pictures on their Instagram accounts try to convince people to join their private trading group.
Others impersonate public figures from the crypto industry (like our CEO, Marco Streng) and promise legitimate investment opportunities in companies.
Many attempt to create fake accounts or user groups of well-known companies (like Genesis Mining) and offer non-existent mining capacities for sale. Some pay “daily mining rewards” for a while, then disappear, some straight out vanish after receiving the funds.
And the list goes on…
Here are the 3 craziest stories that we, Genesis Mining, have experienced in our 6 years of service. They illustrate some of the scammers’ tricks and show the length they go to rid you of your hard earned money.
The best (aka worst) 3 scam stories we have ever witnessed
Not so long ago, we started to receive death threats on social media from a “customer” of ours. He claimed he had spoken to our CEO Marco Streng and had invested more than 10 Bitcoins (!!!) via our Telegram group.
Genesis Mining does NOT have a Telegram group, nor does our CEO Marco Streng reach out personally to random people on the internet to convince them to buy mining contracts.
Unfortunately, this poor fellow did not check the official website, nor did he research our social media platforms. He fell victim to a very elaborate Telegram scam. We have full understanding of his anger, but it is a bit uncomfortable to get death threats for something we were not involved in.
How can YOU make sure something similar doesn’t happen to you?
- Look for the official check marks on the account, to make sure it is a verified account
- Telegram is only safe if you chat with people you know there. You can never know if a stranger writing to you is actually who you think they are. On Telegram, people can impersonate whoever they want.
- Always check at least 1 additional channel of the entity. If you were contacted on Facebook by a random account, reach out to the official account. Even better to google the entity and find their official website. Don’t use links provided by the first account, as they might send you to a copy of the original website, giving you a false sense of security, or attempting to phish your data.
- In general NEVER PURCHASE ANYTHING from someone on a chat application, always verify that you are on the official website and that it is a traceable payment.
Approximately a year ago, we noticed that many people started writing to us about “that job listing” where they “had to have a mining contract if they wanted to work”. Luckily, we eventually got the link to the job posting so we could have it taken down, but also, we could uncover something truly baffling:
Someone created a fake job listing on AngelList in our name. Whoever applied got employed pretty much immediately and the newly hired people got some really weird instructions from a certain MERCO Streng (lol): Applicants needed to apparently have a mining contract with Genesis Mining before starting their actual work.
We don’t know how the company got the funds from the victims. It might have been a fake website, or they may have requested a crypto transfer to a random wallet address. Either way, we are truly disgusted by this specific scam, as it preyed on people who were out of jobs, and for a short moment were made to believe they got employed. It’s unclear how many people got “hired” by this GM copycat, but we hope they did not lose too much money.
How can YOU make sure something like this doesn’t happen to you? Remember:
- Our job listings are hosted on genesis-group.com or via some official head hunter agencies. But just to make sure, always ask us if it is real via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Genesis Mining does not have any “agents” on any social media platform
- The only official way to contact us is via our Customer Support team (chat on the website, or email@example.com, or via an official email address ending with @genesis-mining.com
- genes-mining.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://genesisminers.org/, and any other variations are FAKE, so always check if it’s the right spelling, the right letters, and in the right order.
We get tons of negative comments where sooner or later it turns out that the person complaining never did any business with us… They were just led to believe they did. One of these stories is about a woman who bought a mining contract from a fake Genesis Mining, with the promise that the mining would start in 3 months. Unfortunately, the mining never started, and the scammers had 3 months before the victim realized she had been cheated. The scheme was especially clever, as it is not unprecedented that mining companies offer such products so it could sound familiar and believable.
Unfortunately for this lady, she had no means of reaching out to the fake account anymore, and when she contacted us with her credentials, we realized she never had an account with us, and that an agent on Whatsapp “assisted” her in creating her profile. Apparently, when she checked “our agent’s” LinkedIn, she saw he was working for us, so she trusted the person.
Scammers operate most often on Instagram, Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook, and cross link their fake accounts. Many create LinkedIn profiles for themselves where they can freely tag Genesis Mining (the real one) as their employer — and we can NOT do anything about it.
These platforms act really slowly, if they act at all. More often than not they just ignore our reports. On Linkedin we have a crazy amount of fake coworkers, because anyone can say anything about themselves, and companies can’t efficiently report it, or remove the tags. And once someone has a full LinkedIn profile, they already seem like a real, professional and trustworthy person.
How can YOU make sure something like this doesn’t happen to you? Remember:
- Make sure you purchase things directly on the official website. You should always be suspicious if a merchant asks you on Whatsapp, Telegram or other not-so-formal platforms for payment
- Look for verified accounts, or at least ask on the official website if the account in question is related to the company at all
- Once again, Genesis Mining does not have any “agents” on any social media platform
What can we, Genesis Mining, do to stop this?
The difficulty of reporting these fake accounts is certainly not an excuse for us to stop — we will never cease to fight scammers.
We have a pretty smooth reporting process for such situations and we do everything in our power to hinder fraudsters. It’s not only to protect YOU, but also to protect our brand and image. The victims’ negative comments end up on our social media accounts, and we hate that, so you should believe it when we tell you: We do everything to stop scammers.
Unfortunately, the big social media platforms are slow and they request things we can’t provide them with (for example screenshots of a scammer’s messages on Telegram are not enough, we have to FORWARD the messages — but do you think the scammers are in direct contact with us, so that we can forward the messages? Of course not).
Instagram, Facebook, Telegram are probably the worst in this regard, so be careful if anyone contacts you on these platforms. Always look for the blue check mark, because those are verified accounts.
What can You do?
Besides all the tips we gave you above, if you see any account that
– claims to be related to us,
– or pretends to be us, or someone of us,
Feel free to report it. If you engage in any messaging, do not reveal any personal information, and you are welcome to submit screenshots to us, and every possible bit of proof, so that we can also report it! The more people report, the higher the chance that Telegram, Facebook & Co will finally do something about it.
To finish this up, let us say something very important:
Don’t judge anyone for falling for a scam. It can happen to ANYONE. Especially to good people, because they won’t expect the worst from others.
So be smart, and always double check, always look for secure alternatives.
Bitcoin and crypto still have this reputation to this day — that the industry is a wild west and many people still associate cryptocurrencies with criminal activity (and not even just scammer related).
Let’s fight this perception, let’s do something against those who try to exploit all of us, even if the best you can do is to PROTECT YOURSELF!