Scams are everywhere online, and cryptocurrency exchanges are no different. Another question is how to tell the official and legitimate Binance exchange from a scam?
In this article, I am going to outline the legitimate products of the Binance company as well as the most popular tricks that are used by scammers.
What is the Binance ecosystem?
Binance has become much more than simply a crypto exchange. It has built a vast ecosystem of products and services to make it easier and more accessible for people all over the world.
Let’s explore the legitimate parts of the Binance ecosystem in detail.
Binance.com is one of the top exchanges available in multiple countries and has millions of users who do different types of trading operations there daily.
It also supports fiat-crypto operations since 2020. However, this type of transaction will require user verification process. If you do only crypto-to-crypto trading, then this step can be skipped.
This exchange is a flagship of the whole Binance empire and it has 2 types of interfaces:
The basic UI provides a simple trading interface, where users can choose their trading pair, set limit and market orders, place stop-limits, and trade in a clear and easy-to-navigate environment.
Choosing the advanced mode will allow traders to access a wide range of charting instruments and technical indicators, including RSI, moving averages, Bollinger bands, and more. Traders looking to do technical analysis can also use charting tools to draw on charts in advanced mode.
If you want to save 45% of your trading fees forever, then you should register your Binance account using our referral link. Once your account is created, you can access it within any option mentioned above.
Is binance.us legit? It absolutely is!
Due to multiple regulations introduced by the US government, Binance.com was not compliant with local laws to provide trading operations in the New World. That’s why Binance.us was launched in late 2019 as a full-featured exchange with a large range of assets for the American market.
All American residents can only use the Binance.us platform. They can also download the US app for Android and iOS, for trading on-the-go.
You can read here more about this exchange.
Binance.je was launched in 2019 as the first fiat-to-crypto currency exchange to allow direct Euro and British Pound transfers into crypto.
The island of Jersey is located off the coast of France and serves as a major offshore financial center with its lax financial and tax regulations. Binance Jersey serves a relatively simple function compared to the main Binance exchange; it is simply there for users to convert their Euros and British Pounds to Ethereum or Bitcoin.
Though this limited functionality may change in the future it is currently not needed because once users have one of these major coins, it is relatively easy to transfer them to the main exchange platform and trade for the hundreds of tokens that Binance has available for trading.
Binance’s strategy of being available to as many people as possible has brought them to Africa. Binance Uganda was launched in June 2018 as Binance’s first fiat-to-crypto gateway and specializes in having users buy crypto assets with mobile money accounts, which is a very popular method for sending money in the region.
Popular crypto scams and how to avoid them?
Now you should have a better understanding of the whole Binance infrastructure and subsidiaries. That should give you more confidence when you are browsing the internet to avoid pseudo-sites.
However, there are still lots of Binance scamming. So let me introduce you to them as well.
Did you know that there are tons of fake Binance links on Google? There’s a surprising number of websites that have been set up to resemble original, valid startup companies. If there isn’t a small lock icon indicating security near the URL bar and no “https” in the site address think twice.
Even if the site looks identical to the one you think you’re visiting, you may find yourself directed to another platform for payment. For example, you click on a link that looks like a legitimate site, but attackers have created a fake URL with a zero in it instead of a letter ‘o’. That platform, of course, isn’t taking you to the cryptocurrency investment that you’ve already researched. To avoid this, carefully type the exact URL into your browser.
Fake Mobile Apps
Another common way scammers trick cryptocurrency investors is through fake apps available for download through Google Play and the Apple App Store. Although stakeholders can often quickly find these fake apps and get them removed, that doesn’t mean the apps aren’t impacting many bottom lines.
Typically, these scams will direct users to download malicious applications – some of which mimic popular ones.
Once the user installs a malicious app, everything might seem to work as intended. However, these apps are specifically designed to steal your cryptocurrencies. In the crypto space, there were many cases where users downloaded malicious apps whose developers masqueraded as a major crypto company.
In such a scenario, when the user is presented with an address to fund the wallet or to receive payments, they’re actually sending funds to an address owned by the fraudster. Of course, once the funds are transferred, there’s no undo button.
To avoid falling for them, you should only download from the official website or from a link given by a trusted source. You might also want to check the publisher’s credentials when using Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Watch out for:
- Are there obvious misspellings in the copy or even the name of the app?
- Does the branding look inauthentic with strange coloring or an incorrect logo?
Investment and Business Opportunities – Ponzi schemes
In a Ponzi scheme, you might hear about an investment opportunity with guaranteed profits (this is your first red flag!).
How does it work?
The organizer will take an investor’s money and add it to a pool. The only inflow of cash into the pool comes from new entrants. Older investors are paid off with newer investors’ money, a cycle that can continue as more newcomers join. The scam unravels when there isn’t any more cash coming in – unable to sustain payouts to older investors, the scheme collapses.
Watch out for anyone who:
- guarantees that you’ll make money
- promises big payouts that will double your money in a short time
- promises free money in dollars or cryptocurrency
- makes claims about their company that are not clear
Phishing – Scamming Emails
Even if it looks exactly like an email you received from Binance, take care before investing your digital currency. Is the email the exact same, and are the logo and branding identical? Can you verify that the email address is legitimately connected to the exchange?
If you have doubts about an email, ask someone who works there. And never click on a link in a message to get to a site.
This email contains a link that will take you to a site that looks almost identical to the exchange or wallet you usually use but is actually a scam site.
Once you enter your account details on this unofficial page, the scammers have everything they need to log in to your real account and steal your funds.
How to avoid phishing scams:
- Always double-check URLs to make sure you’re visiting the genuine website
- Don’t click on suspicious links that are emailed to you
- Never disclose your private key
Rather than stealing credit card and bank account details, crypto-related malware is designed to get access to your web wallet and drain your account, monitor the Windows clipboard for cryptocurrency addresses and replace your legitimate address with an address belonging to a scammer, or even infect your computer with a cryptocurrency miner.
How to avoid cryptocurrency malware scams:
- Update your antivirus software regularly to protect yourself against malware
- Never download and install programs unless you’re 100% sure they’re from a reputable, legitimate provider
- Don’t open suspicious attachments
The Binance exchange and its subsidiaries are legitimate and secure to use. However, there are tons of different scams around. You should be attentive to each detail when you are dealing with the cryptocurrency in order to keep your money safe.