Mark Cuban Scammed Out of $870K in Crypto Tokens — Here’s How to Keep Your Investment Safe

When you invest in cryptocurrency, you face risks such as no legal protection for your money and the potential for scams and hacks. American businessman, Mark Cuban recently became the victim of a crypto scam that cost him $870,000 in tokens he can’t get back. Cuban, who hadn’t accessed his online crypto wallet for several months, told DL News that he believed he fell for a phishing link and downloaded a malicious version of MetaMask.

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To avoid becoming a victim and losing your crypto too, you must know how to recognize scams and take steps to monitor and secure your accounts. Here are five ways you can start protecting yourself.

1. Recognize Common Crypto Scams

Crypto scams often involve emails that appear to come from your crypto exchange or online wallet provider. For example, the email might say that your account is locked out for inactivity or too many wrong password attempts, and it might urge you to click a link and provide your login credentials. You might also get an email asking for your online wallet’s secret recovery phrase.

In these cases, the email is from a scammer who will use the information you provide to try to steal your crypto. This makes it crucial to not respond or click on anything and to instead contact your crypto service provider if you suspect there’s an issue.

2. Keep Your Crypto-Related Accounts Secure

To protect against online fraud, set up two-factor authentication if your crypto exchange or hosted wallet supports it. This will help keep a hacker out if they somehow get your username and password. It can also signal that something’s wrong if you end up falling for an imposter site and don’t get the prompt for the second login step.

In addition, use strong passwords that you change periodically and access your crypto-related accounts only on secure devices and networks. Avoid sharing any passwords, recovery phrases or private keys as well.

3. Avoid Falling for Imposters

As seen with Cuban’s experience, imposter crypto apps, websites and extensions are unfortunately becoming more common. While you might receive a link to one from a scammer, Decrypt reported past instances of imposter apps and extensions available even on official platforms such as the Apple App Store and Google Chrome Store.

To keep yourself safe, never click a link that an unknown person sends you. Instead, always go directly to the official crypto service provider’s website. Before you download or log in to anything, verify that the website, extension or app is authentic. MetaMask suggests only using the extension and app links on its website or checking official extension and app stores.

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4. Reconsider Your Crypto Storage Practices

Online crypto wallets like MetaMask and Coinbase are convenient since they’re widely accessible and let you easily make transactions. However, their online nature means there’s always the risk that a hacker compromises your account and steals your money.

A much safer alternative is a cold wallet in the form of physical hardware that you purchase and use to store your crypto’s private keys. You can plug it into your device when you want to transfer crypto to an online wallet for use. By using a cold wallet for most of your crypto and keeping that hardware secure, you can reduce your chances of losing your coins.

5. Monitor Your Crypto Transactions Regularly

You should watch your crypto wallet’s transactions frequently so you can detect anything unauthorized as soon as possible. Check if your provider offers account alerts, and if not, look into third-party websites like CryptoCurrency Alerting that offer this feature. You can also keep an eye out for emails about cryptocurrency transfers. If something looks off, contact your online crypto wallet provider right away and secure your remaining crypto.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Mark Cuban Scammed Out of $870K in Crypto Tokens — Here’s How to Keep Your Investment Safe

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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