Avoiding Digital Currency Scams

Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, if you send cryptocurrency to a third party, you cannot reverse it or stop payment. When you send cryptocurrency to a blockchain address, you must be certain of the legitimacy of any involved third-party services and merchants, and only send cryptocurrency to entities you trust. 

Pro tip: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Technical Support and Impersonation Scams

Fraudsters set up scam customer support phone lines and impersonate a variety of companies—including Coinbase—in the finance, tech, retail, telecom, and service industries. These scam phone numbers are spammed on the internet, luring unsuspecting victims seeking assistance. The scammers may also conduct outbound calls directly to potential victims. These scammers are skilled in social engineering, making false claims to deceive and manipulate their target into providing personal information that will be used for fraudulent purposes. 

  • Never give support staff (or anyone else for that matter) remote access to your machine. This effectively gives the scammer full access to your computer, online financial accounts, and digital life

  • Never give out your 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) security codes or passwords. Coinbase support will never ask you to share sensitive authentication credentials 

  • Never accept outbound calls asking for your confidential personal information. Be aware that scammers can spoof legitimate phone numbers when conducting outbound calls 

  • Only contact Coinbase via the phone number listed on https://support.coinbase.com/ or via email on https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/emails/new

  • Never send digital currency to external addresses on behalf of alleged support agents. Coinbase staff will never ask you to send digital currency to external addresses

Giveaway Scams

Scammers are using social media to perpetuate giveaway scams. They post screenshots of forged messages from companies and executives promoting a giveaway with hyperlinks to fraudulent websites. Fake accounts will then respond to these posts affirming the scam as legitimate. The fraudulent websites will then ask that you “verify” your address by sending cyptocurrency to the scam giveaway. 
 

While Coinbase Earn does offer a legitimate method for earning cryptocurrency, Coinbase does not engage in any giveaways. These payments cannot be reversed and Coinbase will never ask you to send cryptocurrency to external addresses. 

  • Never send digital currency to giveaways under the guise of address verification 

  • Be skeptical of all giveaways and offers found on social media. Do not trust screenshots in "reply messages" as images can be forged and altered 

  • Use your favorite search engine to do research on any entity soliciting you on social media 

Coinbase’s legitimate social media profiles are listed in this help article. Any other profiles should be considered fraudulent 

Investment Scams

Scammers often setup seemingly legitimate websites, email addresses, and social accounts for fraudulent trading services, investment offers, cloud mining services, ponzi schemes, and escrow services. They claim to offer high, and often unrealistic, yields if you send cryptocurrency. These services may sever communications after deceiving you into sending large amounts of cryptocurrency.

  • Be skeptical of websites or services promising high returns or unrealistic investment opportunities. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is
  • ​Only send cryptocurrency to trusted third parties. Search for publicly verifiable reviews or articles involving the recipient 
  • ​Watch for grammatical errors in communications or on websites. Scammers often make grammar or spelling mistakes
  • ​Research the organization thoroughly. Check consumer-protection websites, make telephone calls, and send emails to verify authenticity

Loader or Load-up Scams 

Fraudsters frequently offer “loading” services on a variety of platforms. They claim to need Coinbase accounts with high limits, offering the victim a portion of the proceeds. These scammers use stolen credit cards on compromised accounts to perpetuate payment fraud. The end result is the victim is left with payment delinquencies after the legitimate card holder discovers the fraud, the scammer often steals any available cryptocurrencies and submits unauthorized charges on verified payment methods. Be aware, you are responsible for any payments submitted using your authentication credentials. 

  • Never provide your passwords or security codes to third parties under any circumstances 

  • Report any “loaders” to Coinbase and to the platfrom where they are advertising their credit card fraud

Telegram Scams 

Coinbase has no official presence on the Telegram messaging platform. All varieties of scams can be found on this platform that target Coinbase users, including fraudulent payment bots and giveaway scams. Read this blog post for more information on Telegram scams.

Employment Scams

Scammers will impersonate recruiters with fake job offers, actively seeking job hunters to steal digital currency and personal information. Most frequently, the scammers will reach out to individuals who have posted their resumes online, and ask for payment to begin training. These "job offers" often include convincing offer letters and they may ask for confidential personal information. 

  • All legitimate job postings will be posted on www.coinbase.com/careers No other URL should be trusted for job listings

  • All legitimate communications with Coinbase recruiters will come from @coinbase.com email addresses

  • Please report any impersonations or fake job recruitment scams to security@coinbase.com

Phishing

Phishing sites are malicious websites which mimic an authentic site in order to trick visitors into entering their login credentials or other sensitive information. These fraudulent websites are distributed through a variety of methods including email, SMS text messages, social media, and search-engine advertisements. 

One of the best ways to avoid phishing sites is to always make sure you're accessing https://www.coinbase.com directly. Phishers will often use URLs like www.c01nbase.com to conduct these scams. Detailed information on phishing can be found in this blog post.  

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