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Crypto Wallet Validation Scams and How to Avoid Them

While people like you and I seek to make a fortune by legitimately HODLing, trading, and investing in crypto in other ways, others are seeking to make their living scamming crypto investors. If you’ve ever received a fake sound-too-good social media message to validate your wallet, then it was most probably another scammer fooling around. That’s a glimpse of what crypto wallet validation scams are, and you’re going to understand it better as you read on. 

What is A Wallet Validation Scam?

Crypto wallet validation scams are crypto scams where the scammer starts by telling you that you need to validate your wallet. By so doing, they lead you on to either present your crypto wallet details like your private keys or login details, or they lure you to a fake website where you will enter your details, have them stolen, and ultimately have your wallet balance swept away.

One such wallet validation scam happened to  Atomic wallet owners that saw many wallet owners releasing their 12-key phrases. The scammers timed their activities very well and made them coincide with some technical issues that were going on in the platform at the time. And they began by mass-sending Reddit messages asking users to validate their wallets. 

While some users were old-school or rather lucky enough to withhold giving out their information, others fell for the gimmick hook, line, and sinker. We feel we’re smarter than scam victims―that only others fall victim to scams, and they will never befall us. But that makes us feel somewhat safe and hikes our self-esteem. However, that disposition often lures us into complacency, according to Dr. Paul Seager, a Professor of Social and Forensic Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire.

The best stance against crypto wallet validation scams and their sibling scams isn’t indifference or overconfidence. Instead, you may want to learn as much as you can about how these scams operate and red flags to look out for so that you can fortify your crypto wallet security and be two steps ahead of scammers. That’s why this article is tailored for you to be crypto wallet validation scam-proof by knowing how scammers operate as outlined below;

How is A Wallet Validation Scam Done?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how crypto wallet validation scams are done;

  • Scammers message you out of the blues on social media 

They send you an unsolicited message on social media asking you to validate your wallet. They’re virtually everywhere (Reddit, Twitter, WhatsApp, Youtube Chat, etc.) and could even be your friends or connections on social media.

  • The Message often Comes With So Much Urgency or threats

A very urgent tone is often a big red flag to look out for. It is the scammer’s way of messing with your psychology to release your details urgently. Do not fall for that! Some may go further to tell you you have several hours or days to validate your wallet or have your assets frozen.

  • They ask for your crypto wallet details 

Scammers with bigger balls may politely ask you for your wallet details and offer to help you validate it. Others will lure you to a website resembling your wallet provider’s official website or some other website disguising as a ‘wallet validation site.’ And once you input your login info or private key, it’s goodnight! It enters their database, and they use it to defraud you of your crypto assets.

How to Spot a Wallet Validation Scam

Here are some red flags to look out for to ensure you don’t fall victim to wallet validation scammers;

  • Someone just sends you a message out of the blues asking you to validate your wallet. 

Social media is the most unlikely place to receive a validation invite from any so-called representative. Wallet provider representatives are least likely to contact you on social media.

  • Something is off about their grammar. 

Although bad grammar may not always be a scam indicator, you may want to do your homework if you notice it. But still, scammers can have the best grammatical mastery in the world, so don’t get fooled by that.

  • The messenger inspires fear. 

By telling you it’s very urgent and that you need o to validate immediately or within 24 hours, they inspire fear and intimidate unsuspecting crypto owners.

  • They direct you to an insecure or fake website that resembles your wallet provider’s site. 

Websites starting with “http” and not “https” aren’t secure for your data and should ring a bell. Also, websites with obvious spelling mistakes like “Cobinase.com” instead of Coinbase.com” are often impersonating legit websites aiming to scam wallet owners.

How to Protect Yourself from a Wallet Validation Scam

  1. Anyone reaching you via social media to validate your crypto wallet is most probably a scammer. Their threats are gimmicks, disregard them, and don’t give out your details or enter your details in any website they provide–no matter what!
  2.  Always do your research about every wallet validation request you receive. Check online and see what your wallet provider is saying about it. Other wallet owners’ reviews can also help, or you can check out the website’s details using WHOis.net.
  3. Don’t open suspicious links sent to you via email until you’ve verified it’s from your wallet provider.
  4. Never release your private key or secret login phrase no matter what. Remember, your private key equals your crypto.
  5. Fortify your wallet with two-factor authentication and any other security measures available on the wallet. This will help you frustrate diehard scammers that may be trailing you using other means.
  6. Consider using cold or offline storage, as its content can’t be accessed by anyone online.
  7. Report any cryptocurrency scam attempt or actual scam to the Federal Trade Commission.  

Conclusion

Crypto wallet validation scammers are on the rise, and you must be responsible enough to protect your crypto assets from those malicious hands. They can come in different forms, and we mustn’t rest on our oars. Always withhold from releasing your private keys and other personal details, and make sure to scrutinize every validation link or message you get, whether on social media or via email.