Fraud… Fraud never changes. Humankind has a distinct ability to come up with new ways to steal from one another. Cryptosphere has been praised for its advanced security thanks to its decentralized nature. Yet, here we are, with hundreds of fraud cases occurred throughout the years. One can’t help but admire the creativity of digital thieves.

Jokes aside, there are many ways your crypto magically disappears and reappears in another wallet and the best way to prevent that is to put ourselves into the shoes of thieves. Welcome, innocent Hodler, to your ultimate guide to crypto crime terminology. 

Read More: Crypto Kids Gone Wild: Canadian Teens Steal $4.2M as Coinbase Support

Crypto Crime Terminology

Crypto Rug Pulls

Starting off with a classic: ‘rug pull’. In the crypto game, this is the grand act where crypto developers launch a project, hype it to the moon, and disappear, taking all the investment with them. It’s the virtual equivalent of “Now you see your money, now you don’t”, leaving investors scratching their heads and wallets.


Recent developments in 2023 have seen a massive surge in blockchain security incidents, including rug pulls. Notably, the BALD token, a meme coin, became notorious for its dramatic rug pull after attracting over $68 million from hopeful traders with a staggering 4,000,000% price surge. Alarmingly, rug pulls constituted 65% of all crypto scams in the third quarter of 2023.

While the recent surge in rug pulls has made headlines in 2023, the concept isn’t new in the cryptocurrency world. Historically, the term ‘rug pull’ has been synonymous with some of the most notorious scams in the crypto universe. From the early days of ICO (Initial Coin Offering) to the more recent DeFi (Decentralized Finance) booms, rug pulls have consistently been a dark stain on the crypto landscape. A harsh lesson to learn.

Crypto Hackers

These are the folks who view cybersecurity measures as a joke. Equipped with an arsenal of hacking tools and ill intentions for online security, they leap from blockchain to blockchain, turning every cyber threat into an opportunity to steal some unsuspecting soul’s cryptocurrency.

2023 has been a lucrative year for crypto hackers, with reported thefts surpassing $300 million. The Safemoon DeFi protocol experienced a notable security exploit, where a hacker drained its liquidity pool, stealing nearly $9 million in SFM tokens. 

Hackers have managed to steal a staggering $901 million from exchanges, bridges, and DeFi protocols, largely due to compromised private keys.

Over the years, the digital bandits have evolved and found new ways to exploit anyone hodling crypto. Their actions have led to significant advancements in cyber awareness and security measures, as the industry strives to stay one step ahead of them.


Crypto Crime

We admit that crypto crime is a broad term. Encompassing all manners of bad deeds in the world of digital currency from phishing scams and virtual crimes to fraud prevention failures, it’s the dark side of the crypto world.

In 2023, crypto scammers have taken in nearly $3.3 billion less than in 2022, but ransomware attackers extorted $175.8 million more than in the previous year. 

The history of crypto crime is as old as the industry itself. From the earliest days of Bitcoin, there have been those who sought to exploit the system for their gain. Crimes have ranged from the simple theft of coins to complex Ponzi schemes and sophisticated ransomware attacks. We will be paying attention to each method.

Crypto Embezzlement

Last but not least, crypto embezzlement. This is where the crypto criminals go from being only troublemakers to full-blown digital villains. This term refers to the act of siphoning off cryptocurrencies under the guise of legitimacy. 

Sam Bankman-Fried, a former crypto genius is on charges of fraud, embezzlement, and criminal conspiracy. Additionally, the co-founder of the cryptocurrency OneCoin was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a $4 billion fraud. 


Crypto embezzlement is not a new phenomenon. Since the inception of cryptocurrencies, there have been instances where individuals in positions of trust have abused their power for personal gain. Does that sound new to you? 

The Comedy of Crypto Losses and Security Tips

Crypto Losses

Crypto losses can often feel like a tragicomedy, especially when your digital assets turn into digital dust overnight. These losses can stem from various sources, including market volatility, hacks, or just plain bad luck. It hurts extra bad if it is due to a hack or exploit. 

Historically, crypto losses have been a constant companion to investors. From the infamous 2018 crash that wiped out nearly $700 billion in market value to numerous exchange hacks, these losses serve as a reminder of the investment risks and the importance of financial security in the volatile world of cryptocurrencies.

Crypto Security Tips

Internet threats are seemingly endless. Considering all that, online safety is not just a recommendation, it’s a necessity. Crypto security involves a blend of tech-savvy strategies and good old common sense to ensure that your digital gold remains safe.

  • Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Essential for your digital protection, create complex and unique passwords for each crypto account or wallet. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or common words.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Always activate 2FA on your crypto accounts. This adds a layer of security, as accessing the account requires both the password and a code sent to another device.
  • Use a Hardware Wallet: For storing large amounts of cryptocurrency, consider using a hardware wallet. These devices store your private keys offline, making them immune to online hacking attempts.
  • Beware of Phishing Attempts: Be vigilant about phishing scams. Always double-check URLs and email addresses to ensure they are from legitimate sources. Never divulge your private keys or sensitive information in response to an email.
  • Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your wallet software, applications, and computer’s operating system. Software updates often include security enhancements and vulnerability patches.
  • Use Secure and Private Networks: Avoid conducting crypto transactions over public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Use a VPN for an added layer of security.
  • Regular Backups: Regularly back up your wallet’s seed phrase or private key. Store backups in multiple secure locations to prevent loss from physical damage or theft.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed of the latest security threats and best practices in the crypto world. Being informed can help you avoid new types of scams and hacking techniques.
  • Use Trusted Exchanges and Wallets: Stick to reputable and well-established exchanges and wallets. Research their security measures, user reviews, and historical performance.
  • Limit Exposure: Don’t store all your cryptocurrencies in one place. Spread them across different wallets to minimize risk. Do your risk management properly. 

Crypto Camouflage Techniques

Staying invisible can sometimes be as important as striking gold. Crypto camouflage can help you maintain privacy and anonymity in a space where every transaction is logged on a public ledger. Present, but unseen.

The concept of crypto camouflage has evolved with technological advancements. Privacy coins offer a level of anonymity similar to using cash in the digital world. They counter the transparency of traditional blockchains, allowing users to transact without leaving a clear trail. 

The Art of Crypto Phishing and Scams

Crypto Phishing

Crypto phishing is a deceptive tactic used by cybercriminals to obtain sensitive information such as private keys, login credentials, and financial data from unsuspecting users. It typically involves the use of fake emails, websites, or social media messages that mimic legitimate sources. These phishing attempts are dangerous because they exploit the trust of users, leading to significant financial losses and breaches of privacy.


Crypto fraud encompasses a range of deceptive practices aimed at defrauding individuals or entities within the cryptocurrency market. This includes false investment opportunities, misrepresentation of products or services, and manipulation of cryptocurrency prices. The decentralized and unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies makes them particularly vulnerable to such fraudulent activities.

Crypto Impersonation

Crypto impersonation involves scammers pretending to be reputable entities or individuals in the cryptocurrency space, such as well-known investors, exchanges, or developers. By creating a semblance of legitimacy, these imposters can convince victims to transfer funds, disclose sensitive information, or grant access to their crypto wallets. This form of scam is particularly insidious as it leverages the reputation of trusted figures in the crypto community.

Ponzi Scheme

Ponzi schemes in the crypto are investment scams where returns for earlier investors are paid out from the contributions of new investors, rather than from legitimate business activities or profit. These schemes typically promise high returns with little or no risk and rely on a constant influx of new investments to sustain payouts. When the flow of new investors dries up, the scheme collapses, leaving later investors with significant losses.



As we wrap up our exploration of the crypto criminal’s playbook, let’s remember that in crypto, you are the best firewall. The knowledge is your power. 


With the approaching bull run (fingers crossed) cryptocurrencies are becoming as common as internet memes and staying informed and vigilant is your best defense. Implement your security measures, practice financial prudence, and always be on the lookout for those too-good-to-be-true schemes. 

Disclaimer: All materials on this site are for informational purposes only. None of the material should be interpreted as investment advice. Please note that despite the nature of much of the material created and hosted on this website, HODL FM is not a financial reference resource and the opinions of authors and other contributors are their own and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require advice of this sort, HODL FM strongly recommends contacting a qualified industry professional.