Articles on: Safety

How to recognize a potential cryptocurrency scam or fraud?

Online fraud is globally on the rise and unfortunately, there are also many scams and frauds scheme active in the world of cryptocurrencies. As a rule of thumb, when something looks too good to be true, it often is too good to be true. Examples of this are websites or services offering exceptional returns or other investment opportunities that are unrealistic. Always be skeptical and suspicious if you are approached by any third party asking you to send cryptocurrencies. Moreover, beware that unless explicitly mentioned on our official channels, Finst is not affiliated with any third party offering any type of investment-related services.

To make you aware of these risks and to protect you as best as possible, we have drawn up a list of security tips and risks that you should be paying attention to when dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Warning: transactions involving cryptocurrencies are irreversible and funds sent on the blockchain can never be retrieved. We recommend you to always do your own research (DYOR) before transacting on the blockchain. As a general rule, you should never send cryptocurrency to any third party, even if you think that this party can be trusted. You are solely responsible for all transactions performed to and from your Finst account.

The following overview is not exhaustive and is only intended as an indication.

Security measures to protect your Finst account and your assets:

Never share the login details of your Finst account with anyone else, or use someone else's email address or phone number to open your Finst account. Finst will never ask for your PIN code and you should never share it
Never give someone else access to your device if you are logged into your Finst account, and never share your screen with any third party
Only trust e-mails that come from Finst. All our emails are sent from a domain name ending with ""
Look for grammatical errors in e-mails or on websites. Scammers often use translation sites, which often contains grammatical errors.
Be careful when opening attachments included in an e-mail. These can potentially be harmful
Always check the domain name of the website you are visiting and avoid clicking on suspicious links
If a link to a website is included in an email, copy and then paste it into your internet browser instead of clicking on a hyperlink
Always keep your computer's operating system up to date
Run regular scans using antivirus software. Scammers will often use malware to infect your computer and steal login credentials
If you want to send cryptocurrencies to an external wallet, search online for information about this wallet address or third party before taking any action
If you want to send cryptocurrencies to an external wallet, first make a small test transaction and try to withdraw it from there before you send the entire amount. This will prevent you from sending large amounts to a wrong wallet address or a wallet address that turns out to be untrustworthy
If you notice unusual behavior or if you have any doubts, let us know by sending an email to, so that we can take action together as quickly as possible to prevent any (consequential) damage
Before opening an account on a cryptocurrency platform, always check that the company holds an official registration or license with a national competent authority such as the Dutch Central Bank

Examples of scams and fraud schemes:

Bank helpdesk fraud: someone calls you and pretends to work for your bank. This person may even know information about you that only your bank should know. Through various methods, this person will convince you to open a crypto account on a regulated platform, deposit funds, purchase cryptocurrencies and send it to an external address. Beware that this is a scam and your bank will never call you and ask you to perform such action.

Online ads: you might see appealing ads online and on social media promising unrealistic returns on investments. These companies will ask you to register with them, and deposit cryptocurrencies using a a crypto account on a regulated platform. Once you try to withdraw your funds, they will either ask you to deposit more funds before you can withdraw, or they may never respond to you. Such company is almost always a scam. Do not ever send cryptocurrencies to any third party.

Phishing: you received an email or an SMS that may look legitimate at first glance. Such email or SMS contains a link for you to receive money (for instance from the tax authorities). If you click on the link, you will be asked to enter your bank account or credit card details, and the scammer will use them to perform transactions and steal money from your bank account. Always verify the sender of the email and avoid clicking on suspicious links. Never enter your bank details on any third party website unless you are certain that such website is legitimate.

Investment opportunity: a third party offering investments services calls you and, for instance, proposes to manage your investments on your behalf. Similar to online ads, this company promises high return on your investments. Such company is almost always a scam. Do not ever send cryptocurrencies to any third party offering such service.

Blackmail and extortion scams: some scammers will claim they have embarrassing personal information, including your own photos or videos, to lure you into a trap. They will typically threaten to make the information public, but with the promise of keeping your information private if you do what they want. Their demands always seem to be the same — you can make the problem disappear if you send them a crypto transfer right away. In such a situation, you should report blackmail and extortion scams to the police immediately. Also, don't send the thief any money, and don't communicate with them at all.

Giveaway scams: This type of scam promises you free money or another type of prize if you fall in line with whatever they want you to do. Many scammers pose as celebrities or influencers in order to lure in new victims, and it can be hard to determine what's actually real. As an example, crypto scammers constantly try to impersonate Elon Musk over social media and video in order to get people to send in digital assets. An Elon Musk "Freedom Giveaway" crypto scam that took place on X (formerly Twitter) even promised free crypto to the first 1000 new followers who signed up, but the whole thing was a scam.

Fake cryptocurrency exchanges: Scammers might lure you in with promises of a great cryptocurrency exchange - maybe even some additional bitcoin as a welcome reward. But in reality, there is no exchange and you don't realize it's fake until after you lose your deposit. Stick to well-known and regulated crypto platforms such as Finst, and always check where the platform is based and whether it holds the required registration/license to operate in your country.

Do you believe you have been victim of a scam?

First and foremost, reach out to us immediately at from the e-mail address linked to your Finst account to see if we can still stop the transaction. Be sure to mention the details of the transaction and any information you can provide us with. Make sure to file a police report. Simply call the police in your country, file an online police report or visit your local police station. It is important that you always report the fraudster and the fraud case to the police. Even if your funds are lost, it will help the police to prevent future fraud from taking place.

Updated on: 13/02/2024

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