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8 Ways to be Tricked when Buying Cryptocurrency on P2P Platforms

How can you start HODLing crypto? Well, you may be repairing an old PC found on a dump and find out that there are private keys to 70 BTC or you discover a hard drive with 7500 BTC on it. If these attempts are not successful, turn to two other more traditional ways: buy it on a centralized crypto exchange (for instance, ROKKEX ☺) or a peer-to-peer (decentralized) crypto exchange platform.

What is a P2P Crypto Exchange?

P2P crypto exchange is a platform where a buyer directly pays to the seller. Sometimes it’s also called decentralized exchange as the platform only serves as a matching and routing layer for trade orders; it does not hold customers’ funds, and no third party controls it.

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges mostly don’t require KYC procedures and have lower fees comparing to centralized exchanges. However, the volume is way smaller.

The platforms are sometimes not automated; you’ll need to request for buys and sells and talk with people in chats. P2P crypto exchange platforms can be time-consuming and even irritating, but if you have chosen this path, ROKKEX needs to warn you of some pitfalls.

The list of tricks is created based on forum discussions and feedback from crypto enthusiasts about one or another decentralized crypto exchange.

1. Dots and Commas

You agreed in the chat that a seller sends 2.900 ETH first and you pay second (seems like no risks for you). The code falls to your account or comes in at 2,900, and after a glance, you send a transfer from your side. Then you are surprised to find out that it is two whole and nine hundred, and not twenty-nine hundreds. This often happens to the systems where a dot or comma separate numbers in the display, and the user confuses one with another.

2. Ghost Crypto Exchange Platform

Ghost platforms often consist of 1–2 website pages and a script that mimics the work of the legit crypto exchange platform both on looks and functionality. Usually, a prominent feature of such a platform is sexy prices, with the buying price sometimes higher than the selling one. Some ghost crypto exchange platforms allow only the exchange of fiat money for cryptocurrency because, for a scammer, it is safer and users can do nothing except for leaving a complaint on the forums. As soon as the platform pays back the idea, a scammer vanishes changing the name and domain to create a new ghost crypto exchange platform.

P. S. This trick can also happen with centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

3. Phishing Crypto Exchange Platform

Phishing exchange is a more sophisticated type of ghost platform. Scammers create the domain similar to real exchanges, launch some Google Ads, seed the links in crypto groups, chats, and forums. Moreover, they communicate on behalf of the support team and create fake users who ensure that everything is fine. Users say that scammers also threaten the owners of legit platforms with DDoS attacks and complaints to authorities. The simple way not to get hooked is to check the URL twice or more times.

P. S. This trick can also happen with centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

4. Address Spoofing

Most often happens on forums and in social networks, where the credentials of the representative of the exchange being hacked, and false addresses for receiving cryptocurrency are placed. Often, access to the account is not taken away; the representative communicates as usual and does not immediately notice that the addresses are forged.

P. S. This trick can also happen with centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

5. Dirty Money

You can easily exchange crypto to fiat, but you may later face legal problems. Most often, this trick happened with Qiwi Wallet; however, there are rare cases with other electronic payment systems. For instance, you put the order on $1k and start receiving sums like $100, $300, etc. until the order is closed, but then your account is blocked. Why? Because you were receiving dirty money for drugs, child pornography, or something even worse.

6. Social Engineering

Let’s imagine you have ‘a friend’ on a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange with whom you usually exchange assets. Later, a fraudster creates a clone of your friend which is visually almost indistinguishable from your acquaintance (letter “O” is replaced with “0”, for instance). The outcome is clear.

7. Chargeback

There is no direct way of buying BTC through PayPal; however, some of the decentralized exchanges can help you with it. The only pitfall is that cryptocurrency is sent, but the incoming transaction is rejected with a chargeback (a demand by a credit-card provider for a retailer to make good the loss on a fraudulent or disputed transaction) by PayPal.

8. Man-in-the-middle Attack

There is an old tricky scheme which is not popular today, but some still try to use it. So a scammer contacts both a user of a crypto exchange platform and the platform itself. He/she sends the account details of the platform to a user and gives his/her account details to the platform. So when a user makes a transaction, the platform sees it and sends exchanged assets to the scammer’s account.

How Not to Get Tricked when Buying Crypto on Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms

  1. Always be attentive and critical. Check the URLs two or three times. There is a considerable difference between https://www.whaleex.com/ VS http://www.whalex.com/, have a closer look
  2. Divide large sums of money into smaller parts. In that way, you exchange money gradually and send the next portion after receiving assets for the previous transaction.
  3. Create difficult and unique passwords for every platform (when one platform is hacked, its database is ‘applied’ to other exchanges). Here we told how to juggle with numerous strong passwords easily.
  4. Check the addresses at every stage. There is malware that substitutes BTC and ETH public keys in the clipboards or users may confuse BCH wallets with BTC ones.
  5. On P2P exchanges, check the user twice. If you remember he/she had 1k messages and now only 10, it should alert you.
  6. Google the reviews on crypto exchange platforms. It’s useless to read them on the platform itself — they can be fake.
  7. Don’t make any transaction if a 3d party asks you to. Even if you got a message from “your cousin.”
  8. Don’t lose vigilance and underestimate the risks of “the silliest” tricks, every day people are caught on them.

We, at ROKKEX, hope that this article helps at least one person not to get on the hook of the scammers.

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At ROKKEX, we take security extremely seriously and our crypto exchange is built on ‘Security First’ principle. We want to share our expertise with the broader public for the world to become happy, safe, and wise :)

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