Why Easy Access for You May Also Mean Easy Access for Scammers
For the most part, Bitcoin and crypto are areas of interest for investors looking to diversify their portfolio or engage in trading with a potentially profitable asset. However, more and more services are coming out that allow the average person to start getting into crypto (take Lolli’s crypto-back model, for example). Of course, the average person is going to be looking for the easiest ways to participate in the crypto economy, which often means reaching for wallet providers who give them quick and convenient access to their funds.
One such example of these products is the ever-popular chrome extension. While these solutions do make it more convenient to receive crypto, they often come with a major disadvantage: being scammed out of your money.
Fake Google crypto wallet extensions for Chrome are a rapidly growing problem. This is due to the fact that anyone can create a product that is almost identical to similar ones offered through the web store. In fact, some imposters were developing wallets that copied those offered by major organizations like Ledger, Electrum, and Exodus, just to name a few.
Once you download the browser extension and sign up for your wallet, the information then gets transferred over to the hacker’s server rather than Google’s. This gives hackers immediate access to your funds. While more seasoned investors and enthusiasts will know to be on their toes for any potential scams, those who are new to the industry can easily fall for these fake extensions as it can be quite hard to tell the difference.
If you are someone who is just getting into crypto (or someone who has downloaded a chrome extension in the past or plans to download one for specific needs) some great rules to follow include:
- Making sure that you pay attention to the name of the developer and the website that it is directing you to. Some developer names will be glaringly obvious while other hackers will slightly change the website name to trick you into thinking it is authentic. If the link brings you to the wrong website that is not the one for the official company, it is a false extension.
- Look at the quality of the content and the images listed in the description for the Chrome extension. Like the name of the developer, some fake extensions will give themselves away by using sub-par images or having multiple typos listed throughout the copy, which is something that a company is extremely unlikely to have in their own extension description.
- Taking a look at some of the product reviews for the extension. While you should take into account that some reviews can be fake, it may be revealed that the extension is not real if you run into more than a handful of negative reviews and comments.
While Google is cracking down on these copycats, you still have to exercise caution in case one of them gets through. Using the three tips provided above is one excellent way to make sure you don’t lose your money by downloading the wrong extension.
As the price of crypto continues to rise and interest piques, making sure that you are avoiding any potential hackers is key to protecting your assets as you explore the world of cryptocurrency.