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Scammers reading this will feel excitement but also disappointment.
"Aw, we almost got him! So close..."
A very possible reaction by them, if they ever read this article.
Well, to tell you the truth, it was very close.
I was just a click away from sending thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrency to scammers. Yes, this wasn't just going to be a small gamble but a huge mistake that would have cost me all my holdings back in 2017.
So scammers, rejoice! You almost got me, but I got lucky instead! You are going to read about the one time you almost got me and how I eventually didn't fall for your scam.
Of course, I don't recommend this article just to scammers! However, I am not going to give them any pointers or explain their mistakes either. Scammers, by reading this you are not going to get better at scamming!
The real target audience for this article is the honest people in crypto. Those that invest, those that work for crypto, and any crypto beginner. Even some more advanced crypto enthusiasts can find this information useful.
With our knowledge, we will together manage to reduce the menace of scamming from the CryptoVerse.
I found it on Youtube. It couldn't be anything else but a fake Ripple airdrop! Yes, these scams are running for many years with the same format.
Not a giveaway though, as at that time they were advertised as airdrops. I remember studying Ripple in 2017 and read somewhere about a plan for a huge airdrop of all those XRP that Ripple was still holding.
About 50 Billion XRP was supposed to be airdrop but the decision was delayed after the exit of Jed Mcaleb from Ripple.
As a beginner without any experience and any knowledge of how scams worked in Crypto, I was convinced this was the real deal.
I don't remember the exact details, but I am certain I visited a website that was on the links of that Youtube channel and the rest was the same old scam that was supposedly going to send us back double the coins after we first make the first deposit.
I visited the scam website and there was an address to deposit the XRP. Then I logged in to the exchange I was holding the crypto.
I owned BTC, ETH and XRP, at that time, and I was about to send all my XRP to the scammers address. (Later I felt completely brainwashed and clearly remember I was very tired when I found that fake airdrop. I was almost sleeping on my desk while watching YouTube. The worst possible timing to make any financial decision.)
I was saved by pure luck though. As I was getting ready to transfer my XRP investment to the hands of scammers, my phone rang. I just had to copy paste the address as I was already at the withdrawal page on my exchange.
It was a friend, on the phone, we discussed for like 10 minutes, and after that I decided to go outside and make some groceries.
I returned home an hour later, and when I sat on my desk again, I was facing the same screen, my exchange and on the browser the scammers website with the address of the XRP I was about to send one hour ago!
But now it was all different. It was the same page, but I was thinking more clearly.
I instantly recognized a trap, that an hour ago I was about to fall victim to.
It feels that I was hypnotized by the fake promises of doubling up my crypto wealth in just minutes. I've felt shame for my previous actions to not consider this was a scam.
I also think that this scam, while it was very simplistic and naive on its own, it was made this way to attract beginners. It was based on the fact that someone new might have read that Ripple was planning an airdrop, and why not, to try and claim this airdrop by sending XRP to the displayed address.
A ridiculous scam, that however seems to be working every single time.
See for example the millions of dollars collected by the Twitter hackers last year. They had all these high-profile Twitter accounts hacked, and promoted their fake BTC giveaway. For us that we have seen it all before, it looks like a ridiculous scam, but this is not the same for someone that hasn't seen how these scams work before.
So, there is the story.
I'm writing it to let scammers know how close they got to me, and in the end, it was luck that saved me. But I also managed to foil scammers' plans on too many occasions and notified whole communities how to avoid getting scammed.
Source of this image is a scammer webite (not going to mention url)
That's what I knew about when I invested in Crypto back in 2017.
But back then it was even worse than now. When I was trying to look for exchanges accepting euro, Kraken and Coinbase weren't the first options on google results.
Some shady exchanges appeared and I almost ended up sending my money in one that later exit scammed.
I've always been an open book about my experiences in crypto and have been trying to help by writing my articles as easy to comprehend as possible.
Becoming a crypto expert is mostly about understanding the code, something I will probably not learn in this lifetime, unless I get serious one day and put all effort into learning a programming language.
The developer's job is to code, perfect their code, debug, and perform upgrades to the code. They can explain but will have to do that in jargon, but most will not be able to understand.
I still remember the confusion in my first days while learning.
I was thinking that Bitcoin and the blockchain were one and the same. I understood P2P but didn't even understood most of the basics.
The people that were informing me back in 2017 were deep into Bitcoin since 2013. They were those that bought at $1,000, those that bought in 2014 at prices between $200-$400. A smaller part, some of the earlier investors were those that indeed knew what was going on.
If I was never scammed though, it wasn't because someone informed me. It was luck that helped me. Anybody that claims is too smart to get caught, makes a big mistake.
And any scammer that thinks he is intelligent, makes an even bigger mistake.