Cryptocurrency investment scams

Scammers send emails, cold calls and slide into the DMs pretending to be a legitimate agency or crypto exchange provider. They'll promise a lucrative trading or mining scheme, and can be very persuasive.

You could also be asked for your private key (a unique identifier to each digital wallet holding crypto assets), personal identity details, or credit card numbers.

Scam emails can include highly professional and glossy-looking graphics and ads. They could ask you to follow a link or open an attachment that could either direct you to a fake website or result in malware downloaded onto your computer.

What you should do

Always do your research – using the Financial Services Register (Opens in new window), for example. And be wary of false investment scams circulating on social media.

Ponzi schemes

The term 'Ponzi' comes from Charles Ponzi, who conducted fraud in the 1920s. 

Ponzi schemes tempt you with a promise of high returns in a short period of time if you commit to an investment opportunity. Any payouts are funded by the money coming in from unsuspecting new investors.

Scammers will make you wait for your 'huge returns' and then ultimately disappear – along with all the money.

What you should do 

Be vigilant, always do your research, and never feel pressured to invest.