Bitcoin artwork
Bitcoin artwork Image credit: Sashkin/Bigstock.com

Cryptocurrency scammers are always on the prowl for unsuspecting victims, but they seem to come out in full force during bull runs.

What is a bull run?

A bull run is a rally in which cryptocurrency prices increase sharply, and for an extended time period. This attracts thieves who want to steal cryptocurrency while it is most valuable.

This is also a time when many people are on exchanges preparing to buy or sell cryptocurrency, and exchanges are a prime target for thieves.

Protect your exchange account: You must use a strong, unique password that you have never used elsewhere. The same goes for the email address you use to log in. Use a unique email.

Don’t send anyone your coins to invest: Don’t send ETH or any other cryptocurrency to anyone who promises to send you back more. That is a common scam.

Protect your private key: No one ever needs your private key. It provides full access to your funds, and if someone asks you for it — they are trying to steal your coins.

Phishing: Watch out for fake wallet apps in the app stores. They will steal your coins by pretending to be well-known wallet apps. The same applies to fake exchange websites and fake exchange apps.

Malware: Key-stealing software exists. Ensure that you avoid any websites that aren’t trustworthy or legitimate, as they may trick you into installing malware, and it’s difficult to spot. Hardware wallets are generally safer than mobile or PC wallets. If using a computer, Linux and Mac are significantly safer from a malware standpoint.

Encrypt your wallet: You must both enable wallet encryption (it’s usually enabled by default) and lock your wallet app with a password. Without a password, there is nothing to stop people from stealing your coins.