Cybersecurity, Emerging Issues in Security, Policies and Training

Stopping Crypto and Other Online Finance Scams

I can tell you that every investor has heard the words “never invest more than you can afford to lose.” It is a deceptively difficult concept to work around with all the data that we have available to us. Gone are the days of the ticker tape and information sent with a delay; now stocks and investments are done by the billions with a simple click of a button.

In my experience, investments themselves have changed. Whether it is traditional stocks bought through an exchange, precious metals bought to garner value, or even cryptocurrencies. People are constantly buying and selling these assets with the hopes of turning a profit during a strong market or minimizing losses in a market that is trending down. Navigating this sea of money and information requires knowledge and a fundamental understanding of the global financial market. 

I always focus on the fact that stocks rise and fall on a whim. A bad harvest, a war thousands of miles away, or even a misspoken statement can cause the stock to tumble or rise with shocking speed. Data is transferred faster than the mind can understand, and I’ve been left with more questions than answers at the market’s daily closure. 

In my younger years, I did what many others did. We turned to experts and or our friends for advice. What is the best product to invest in? What cryptocurrency is going to be the one that launches up in value? When is the time to sell when your stock appears to be on a constant rise? These are the sorts of questions that plagued our minds as we tried to make the right choices.

Unfortunately, we have seen firsthand what can happen to people when they trust the wrong broker or follow the wrong piece of advice. Entire fortunes can be lost overnight, and the shadows of the epic scandals of people like Bernie Madoff still scar the memories of those who lost everything. Coupled with this is the recent crypto market crash, which saw over $2 trillion of market cap lost within less than 7 months. People lost, and they lost big. Bad advice, bad investments, bad luck.

You’ve got to remember that crypto itself suffers from the same issues that the traditional stock market faces, only they can be magnified by scammers. Scammers can benefit from a currency rising only to sell and run right before the bubble burst, getting investors to put their money into a currency that was never going to be released or using loopholes in virtual contracts that allow them to drain currencies and run.

One of the things that most attracted me to crypto was its untraceable nature, but that fact also lets a lot of scammers run away with people’s assets with no recourse. People have tried to track these scammers and bad tokens; however, it is difficult to track every single issue that exists. People flock to the good and are often not exposed as they should be to the bad.

It is from this type of thought that I believe new platforms will be developed that will cater to a financially sound user base. People need to have accurate and verified information from trustworthy sources, not ones that base their investments and activities on hearsay and wild speculations. I believe that AI will drive this new era of social media development because it will be able to use algorithms and data to verify people’s actions and sort out bots and scammers at a rate that human moderators would have extreme difficulty matching. 

Investment needs to be taken differently in the modern era. Between digital advancements and information given through social media instantaneously, people must have a good hand on what they are dealing with. I think that the most important part of this is that people need to understand their investments and resources. 

Finance is inherently linked with risk: risking to try to make a good turn, risking cryptocurrencies against a bear market, or risking an investment into a new company. Sometimes the risk pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. What I want for the future is for experts to be able to give people the information and advice they need to turn a bad risk into a good one. No longer will they fly blind into a storm of financial information, but instead will have a solid group of experts and advisors who will steer the right way and ensure a positive return. 

Here is a short and proven scam-identifying guide from Qure.Finance:

1. If you are promised to get a big profit quickly, this is a scam.

2. If you can’t check all the advisor’s deals, this is a scam.

3. If the advisor has the ability to edit or delete his previous messages with advice (for example, in discord or telegram), this is a scam.

4. If the advisor can’t show screenshots or videos of his real portfolio, this is a scam.

Igor Sheremet is CEO of Qure.Finance, an investment platform for the next generation of retail investors.

Editor’s note: This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice.