You have to be cautious with what you engage in and with online. You might be surprised that the money you’re trying to invest and grow will disappear if you’re not careful. Listen to this episode as your host Halle Eavelyn continues with the second part of her discussion on crypto scams and rug pulls. It’s extremely important to make sure the financial choices you’re making are the right ones. Cryptocurrency is going to be a big part of the future, and when those who don’t invest in it will likely look back years from now and wish they had. However, you must first get educated on the scams and hacks that are happening so you can avoid those.
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Crypto Scams And Rug Pulls Part II
Before I start this part two of my crypto scams episode, I want to share that this is the 25th episode of Goddess of Crypto. We’re up to 25 already. If you have been here from the beginning, thank you so much. If you are just joining us, all of the education and all of the information that is here is super useful. I hope you will like it, comment on it and review the episode on your favorite platform or the show on your favorite platform. Tell all the women in your life about Goddess of Crypto so that we can help get every woman educated to her birthright of wealth.
Last time, we talked about social scams and specifically, we talked about spoofs. I showed pictures of my own Instagram profile having been spoofed and about a guy that I refer to as Trader Mark, who was a legit trader but who was spoofed in a telegram scam where they pretended to create an environment where people were able to make 3% to 5% a day on their crypto then the whole thing disappeared when they had built it up to enough money. Everybody lost access to that telegram group that day, which was their only conduit into the trader.
I’m going to talk about some other kinds of scams, social scams also. In case you missed the previous episode, I want to mention that most of the scams that you were going to be a part of, that you would be unwittingly participated in or that you would get invited into are a direct person to person scams. Somebody is pretending to be somebody else or somebody connecting with you for less than honorable reasons, but they will act like they’re totally wonderful people and completely trustworthy.
I have here with me a couple of pieces that I have seen that I wanted to share with you verbatim. One of them is pretty straightforward. This is an email scam and this is something that was received by my mother. Supposedly, it is from Coinbase and it says, “Coinbase Support Service. After reviewing your Coinbase account, noted several concerns with your recent activity. As a result, we’ve taken the following action on your protofolio.” It should say portfolio, but instead, it says protofolio.
Not sure if you also noticed in what I read that there was already a grammatical error. “After reviewing your Coinbase account, noted several concerns.” We noted or have noted. It’s missing a word. It then says, “Your Coinbase got locked.” Who talks like that? “In order to start using your Coinbase account again, you need to confirm your identity following our terms. Click here.” There’s a big blue button to click on. “If you don’t take action, before the next 48-Hour we will initiate an automatic recovery, which could include selling your cryptocurrency holdings on both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro !”
It should say hours. Here’s the point of that. Spelling errors, grammatical errors. The Ponzi scheme that I was involved in years ago had grammatical errors and spelling errors. I should have realized then that it was a Ponzi scheme and I did not and lost money. The only time in my life I ever let that happen. My mom calls me because she doesn’t have a Coinbase account, but I do. She has some of her money invested in with my crypto accounts. Both of my parents do. That’s something that, as you get more educated, you may find members of your family saying, “Can I trust you with my money to do whatever it is that you’re going to do?”
Don’t make any promises, but if you feel like, “They’re not going to trade on their own,” they can join you in whatever you’re doing, as long as you’re all taking the risks together. As long as you all have an agreement about that and they understand that it’s a risk and they could lose their money, that’s okay. That’s the only time it’s okay because those family members know me. They trust me. If a friend asked me to do it and friends have asked me to do it, I say no because I do not want to risk someone else’s money. Neither should you want anyone else risking your money unless it’s somebody that you consider a family member because otherwise, it will ruin friendships as well. That’s more important than money.
If you don’t know that that’s more important than money, then I highly recommend a book to you called The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. I’ve talked about it in a previous or an upcoming episode. It’s wonderful. You want to rethink your relationship with money because friendship is more important than money is. What else is wrong with this particular phishing scam? This is a phishing scam. I think everybody is familiar with the word phishing as it’s used these days.
Phishing scams are very common in email. They blanket everyone. They don’t know who has a Coinbase account or who doesn’t. They send something out to everyone and that is how they know they will get somebody who isn’t paying attention and clicking. When they say, “In order to use your Coinbase account again, you need to confirm your identity, following our terms.” What are they doing? They’re stealing your identity.
If you couldn’t tell that, you’re not paying attention. Always pay attention. When I do my crypto trades, here’s what I do. I shut down everything else on my computer. I get onto my VPN. I never remember what the P stands for. I want to say virtual protocol network, but I don’t think that’s right. In any case, my VPN tells my router to go live someplace else on the other side of the country or in Belgium, which is where I usually like it. Instead of sending somebody to be able to see the signal coming into my house, the signal is coming into this house where I live in Florida. It will say the signal is coming into someplace in the middle of the US or someplace in a foreign country.
That protects me from hackers. I prefer a paid VPN. I use Nord. That’s, again, one of the most reputable. I prefer a paid one because I never trust that the free ones will be as invulnerable to hacking as the paid service. That is my feeling. That is the thing that makes me feel safe. You have to do what makes you feel safe. Am I 100% protected? Probably not. Am I my 99.6% protected? Yes. I will transact using a reputable company that does online transactions like Coinbase. In the past, I have also used MetaMask. I have used PancakeSwap because sometimes crypto gets complicated. I admit it.
Sometimes things have to trade in pairs and the pairs have to match. You’ll have to like trade one thing for another thing. When I am finished with whatever the transaction is, I will move it. If it’s still on Coinbase, I’m moving it to Coinbase Wallet, which means I am not on their main system, then I will transfer it to my cold wallet as quickly as possible. You all have heard me talk about this. I also have an extremely reputable trader that I work with and I like them very much. I have checked with them and they do not do anything on margin.
If I wanted to borrow against my crypto, I would not be able to. They do not leverage the assets that they keep. They keep like seventeen different kinds of backups, so I feel confident in making that choice. You have to do what you feel comfortable and confident in doing. I won’t even recommend the trader to you. It’s not that they’re not amazing. It’s that I don’t ever want to have a problem and have you say, “Hollie told me.” It’s important that you make your own decisions and that you find out on your own what is the best resource for you.You want to rethink your relationship with money because friendship is more important than money is. Click To Tweet
I feel like I am protected against being hacked, which is a way of getting scammed out of your crypto. I had a friend who was so excited and I was so excited for her. She bought her first Bitcoin. She bought an entire Bitcoin. She got paid a big commission check and she bought a Bitcoin. She was so happy. Within a week, somebody had hacked into her cellphone using a SIM hack. SIM hacks are becoming more common. In fact, she was the second personal friend of mine. Not somebody I knew on social media, but somebody I know IRL. That’s in real life, in case you didn’t know that acronym.
Somebody that I personally knew who had been the victim of a SIM hack. My other friend had missed an entire fully paid trip to I think Greece because that hack happened the day before he was getting on the plane. His phone stopped working properly and when he looked into it, he began to unravel. He’s a multimillionaire. If somebody had gotten into his bank accounts, it would have been disastrous. He spent the next week changing everything out, but the SIM hacks usually happen because of your phone service provider.
I don’t remember which of them had which, but one of them had T-Mobile and one of them had AT&T. We’re talking about the main service providers. It was probably somebody at the phone company because he thought that the hack had happened because of somebody doing a physical SIM swap with his phone. We both did a ton of research when this happened to him. Eventually, we both realized when we looked into it more that it is possible to have a SIM hack happen, so they’re hacking your SIM card ID, but they don’t have to have access to the SIM card itself.
They don’t have to have access to your phone at all. It can happen again if somebody is corrupt inside of the phone company and can hand that information over. It’s very important that you tell the phone company that they need to protect against some hacks and ask them what they are doing to protect against some hacks. My friend lost her Bitcoin that way coincidentally only a week after she had it, which was a sad thing.
It happens. It does not happen often, but it does happen. Usually, when you are going to become the victim of a scam, it’s going to be something a lot simpler than that. It’s going to be something that involves person-to-person, peer-to-peer interaction. I can’t tell you how many people have reached out to me. If we weren’t recording on my phone right now, I could look up my Twitter account, but I have at least ten message requests. “Hi, how’s your crypto journey going?” which, as I have said, is a real red flag. How’s your crypto journey going is a phrase that people tend to use. Another thing that people tend to do is ask, “Where are you from or just say hi.”
Since I consider myself an educator, since I work as a transformational wealth coach, since I work in the crypto space, I tell people all the time, “You can always connect with me. You can always reach out. If you have a question, if you want a topic that you want me to talk about on a future episode.” Do I hear from strangers? Sure, regularly, but when somebody reaches out and says, “Hi,” my initial response is always to be very curt with them. “Hi, how can I help?” That is what I will ask because I want to cut to the chase.
Now, if somebody wants something from me, if they want to share a piece of information with me, they want to ask me to do an episode topic, whatever, they’re going to get to the point when I say, “How can I help?” When somebody writes back to a sentence that is that direct with, “How are you doing today or where are you from?” I already know it’s a scam and I already know to block that person. You may not know that, but that social conversation, something simple like that, is designed to build your trust. When they have done that back and forth 3 or 4 times, they’re going to start asking you crypto questions about your crypto portfolio.
Their whole objective is to uncover information that you can give them about your crypto portfolio. I have seen people hand over the keys to their wallets. I have seen them hand over like 26-digit code to their wallet because somebody says, “I can help you with that.” I have seen people hand over their 12-word or 24-word seed phrase to their wallet because somebody said, “That was the next step and that was what they needed.”
You’ve got to be smarter than that. You’ve got to understand that unless you have vetted somebody, you’ve spoken to them on the phone or you’ve had enough conversations with them online to get a feel for who they are. If you see them on a platform like Telegram, here’s an easy trick. Reach out to them on Facebook Messenger or on Twitter or wherever else their profile is and say, “I’m verifying this is you because I’ve been getting messages from you on this platform.” They will either reach back to you and say, “No, that’s a scam,” or they will say, “I’m not on that platform,” or “That’s me. Good of you to check.”
Don’t ever be embarrassed about doing that due diligence. If the 500 people on my spoofed Instagram profile had connected with me anywhere else or had done a search on Instagram to see that I had another Instagram profile with many more followers than that, they would have known better. When you don’t do that, when you don’t take that extra step and you trust, you are doing so at your peril.
Here’s a social scam that I received from somebody named Kersten Degen. Kersten spells her name unusually. If I thought she was a person, I could probably check her out. Degen also is spelled differently, Now, Kersten has a picture and she looks super cute. She looks like a nice mom. Kersten’s picture is probably fake. In fact, I’m sure Kersten’s picture is fake because if you’re going to be scamming people, you’re also not going to use your real name and your real picture.
Kersten says to me, “Hey,” and I was in a hurry. I wrote back, “Hello?” Sometimes people reach out to me because I’m in twelve Telegram groups. They’ll reach out to me inside of a group and they’ll say, “Hey,” because they think I already know that I’m connected with them in that group. On Telegram, I might not say like, “How can I help?” In this case, I didn’t. I just said, “Hello?” She said, “How are you doing?” I wrote back and said, “I’m great. How can I help?” She wrote back, “Where are you from?”You have to do what you feel comfortable, calm, and confident in. It's important that you make your own decisions and find out on your own what the best resources are for you. Click To Tweet
At which point, I blocked her because she answered a direct question with an indirect social cue. That is designed to build trust. It is designed to build trust so she can steal your money. She will then invite me. Let’s say I’d written back, “I’m from Miami. How about you?” “I’m from wherever made up city. Listen, I’m making a lot of money in my crypto group and I thought you’d like to know about it.” Now I’m invited into the same type of group that I told you about on the last crypto scams episode, which would be a situation with trader mark where the whole thing is completely spooked.
These types of scams, the type of Trader Mark scam that I was talking about before. I said it was spooked identity and it was, but it’s combined with what’s called a rug pull. A rug pull is where the rug is pulled out from under you. Rug pulls have taken many different forms in crypto. One of the forms that they have taken is the trader mark scam. We create a group. We keep the group open until we’ve built a lot of trust, in this case, 90 days’ worth and people are reinvesting their money because they’re making so much.
The guy is our friend and we trust him, then the whole thing disappears. The rug gets pulled out from under you. That is an example. Another example of a rug pull, and this is why you have to check out and vet your project so carefully, is that you will sometimes see crypto projects that are themselves rug pulls. I will give you a very famous example. There was a video game called, I believe, Squid Game. I don’t play video games anymore. Although, it was my passion and my industry for many years. My first career was in the video games business. That’s why I got to be an early adopter online. This one, I heard about it.
The video game is called Squid Game, super popular and the next thing we know, there is a crypto called Squid Game. It is the next great what’s called meme coin. If you’ve read to previous episodes, you know the meme coin, like a meme of pictures is something that goes by role because people like it. It has no real value or utility behind it. By the way, if you haven’t read this pretty much every single episode, it’s not a good idea to invest in cryptos that are meme points. It’s not a good idea unless you’re day trading and making money in the short term because you can get in and out.
Otherwise, it’s not a good idea to stay in a meme coin for the long term because they inevitably will go to zero because they don’t have any reason for being around. There’s no utility, no product, no program, nothing being built on it and no projects. This was what’s called a meme coin. Note zero utility. People were hearing about it and they were starting to invest in it. It was going up like crazy then, one day, people went to the website for Squid Game crypto to be able to purchase it. I don’t remember what the call letters were.
There was a sign and the sign basically said, “We ripped you off. We took your money. Why would you be so stupid as to invest in something that had no value whatsoever?” That was it. That was the rug pull. I thought that was desserts because people do get greedy. We don’t bother to get educated. We don’t bother to understand the value of something. We see other people putting money into it and we say, “Yes, let’s go ahead and put money into it ourselves,” without bothering to pay any attention. Your friend did it, so you did it. You’ve heard about it from three different people, so now you say, “Let me go ahead and do that.”
These are choices that you get to make. Make your choices smart ones. If somebody gets in touch with you in a group you are in and calls you honey or dear, they don’t know you. They are almost inevitably in another country, creating a social scam to catch you to ensnare you on their web. Don’t let them. Now I had a woman reach out to me on Twitter. I was sharing about a new group that I have that’s for women who are already more advanced on their crypto journey.
If you’re reading this and that’s you, reach out to me about Goddesses of Crypto and we can talk about whether you’d be a good fit. It’s my very private, very closed group now. I’m not even sure what I’m going to do with it, but there are some cool and amazing women in it. I reached out on Twitter because I’m part of the crypto Twitter space. It said, “There are some cool women here. If you’re interested, get in touch with me.” I heard from this woman who goes by a weird moniker BlackWidow. I’m immediately like, “Social scam. Do I want to risk this?”
I started having a conversation with her and I found her to be very real in our conversation. She was talking about having been scammed multiple times in the crypto space since I think she got in around 2017. A lot of people did then. She was saying that she wanted to make sure she didn’t get ripped off again because, like most of us, she would have had millions by now if that hadn’t happened. What I liked about her was I could feel that she was being very authentic, so I invited her into the group, whereupon I never heard back from her.
I wrote to her later and said, “I guess that wasn’t right for you.” She wrote back immediately. She said, “I don’t do Facebook,” because the group at the moment is on Facebook and we will be moving off of it pretty soon. She said, “Do you have a Discord or a Telegram that I could join?” Now, to me, that was a legitimate person asking if she can join my group on a platform. Those two platforms, Telegram and Discord, are the platforms for crypto. I don’t care for them. They’re hard to sort through. They’re hard to identify people. Stuff basically gets into a long thread.
It’s hard to store information and I’m not a fan, but I use them every single day because of the programs that I participate in or because of the groups that I participated. I know people who only work on Twitter. They only work on Telegram. They only work on Discord. It’s whatever works for that person is perfectly fine. All of the platforms are legit for that, but I liked that she wasn’t willing to come into the group because she didn’t like the social platform. That alone told me that she was a legitimate person and I’ll be in touch with her later and we’ll see if she gets involved.
The point is that you can learn to make your own decision about someone’s character by having more of a conversation with them. If your conversation is, “I’m great, how can I help?” The response is a non-sequitur. You have to realize that that person is not the person that they say that they are. I had another woman reach out to connect with me, which was very similar. I thought that she was who she said she was because I could see her social profile. I could see that the Messenger account, because it was on Facebook, was connected with her actual profile.We don't bother to get educated and understand the value of something. We just see other people putting money into it, so we invest in something without actually understanding. Click To Tweet
She had tens of thousands of followers. I was like, “This is a legitimate person.” Ultimately, I wrote back to the person trying to draw me out and said, “Tell your boss you’re not doing a very good job,” because I think it was like an overseas assistant or something and I never heard from the person again. I know that I hit the nail on the head. That wasn’t necessarily a scam. Sometimes the person, when they see it like it’s a legitimate lead for whatever the program is, they will trade out from being an assistant to being the actual person. It’s a different situation if you feel like there’s an actual person behind the scenes.
The problem that I had was I didn’t have time for it. That’s different from when somebody is there to draw you out for the purposes of scamming you. It may sound minor, subtle and it is to have the word honey or dear be in a message, but it’s consistent. That is, “How are you today, dear? Hi, honey. How are you?” Do you know people who you’ve become friends with who started conversations like that? It’s very unusual.
Be on the lookout for stuff like that. Be on the lookout for those misspellings and those missed words. Be on the lookout for when something seems hank, it probably is. All right, I want to say one more little thing. I want to dedicate this episode and part one of crypto scams and rug pulls to my dear old friend, Aaron because Aaron has been telling me from the beginning that crypto is a scam. He’s a money guy and I’ve known him since I was like eight years old. Crypto itself is not a scam.
I believe in crypto like I believe in the internet. I got to watch the rise of the internet and I’m grateful that I’m alive to get to watch the rise of crypto. I believe that there are many broken things in our financial system and crypto fixes a lot of them. I believe that when you get educated on Bitcoin, for starters and you can start by reading The Bitcoin Standard. That’s a good book to get educated on the basics of not just Bitcoin but on the history of money and why Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a natural evolution.
You will see that such value is a way to hedge against a falling dollar. A way to hedge against incredible inflation. The dollar and the Euro, as I record this episode, have reached parody. In fact, the dollar has exceeded the Euro for the first time since its introduction, which I was also around for. I believe the Euro was introduced at approximately $0.80. When that happened, the Euro quickly overcame the dollar and it never went back down until now. We are back down at the bottom of a cycle.
I was leaving for Europe and I asked someone like, “Why is the Euro so down when the dollar is so inflated? We’ve seen 80% of all the money that’s in circulation, printed in the last few years, 80% and yet we’re saying inflation is only up by now 9%? How is that possible?” This is simple but so profound to me. He said, “It is the cleanest shirt in a pile of dirty laundry.”
That made perfect sense to me. I love a good metaphor. Crypto is problematic. It’s unregulated. It’s still the wild West. There are still opportunities for you to be scammed. There’s no question. Does it mean that you shouldn’t get educated? No. Does it mean you shouldn’t choose to invest? That is a personal decision that only you can make. I believe in the future of it. I believe that, like with the internet, we’ll look back in several years and say, “Why didn’t I invest in Amazon?” which, by the way, I did the first year they came out. “Why didn’t I invest in Apple?” which, by the way, I did the first year it came out. These are choices we get to make.
What are your choices? It’s more important than you following me blindly or anyone. Please don’t follow the Crypto Bros on YouTube. They’re making money by advertising on YouTube. They’re making money by having big YouTube followers and by grabbing headlines. Get educated. You will find them. You can find them on Crypto Twitter. You can find them on YouTube. Get educated by people who know what they’re talking about, not people who are looking to grab the headlines and people who are looking to create FDU, fear, doubt and uncertainty.
As you’re getting educated, be careful out there. Make sure that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and talks like a duck, that you understand that you’re going to get scammed. I hope this episode of Goddess of Crypto has been helpful for you. I hope that you will like it, review it and comment on the show. I hope that you will share this episode and Goddess of Crypto with all of the wives, mothers, daughters and girlfriends that you have in your life. Until next time.