Beware of get-rich-quick scamming on social media

Ventures such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, or new businesses are created daily to earn a quick profit. The problem with these new ventures, however, is that they are untested and unregulated, and they can be dangerous for someone who is not tech-savvy. There’s also been modern adaptations of old money-making schemes such a Ponzi scheme or a Pyramid scheme to further cheat money out of people.

Multi-level marketing companies such as Monat or Mary Kay tend to be entirely dependent on recruiting unsuspecting members to either make them work for you, or work for another boss in charge. Unlike more modern counterparts involving cryptocurrencies or NFTs, without any new members, the scheme falls apart. These schemes are borderline predatory, as these schemes create a whole new hole for these people to fall in.

In my opinion, cryptocurrency mining is a safer way to make money with cryptocurrency. However, it has a high start-up cost, and can easily turn bad for the average consumer looking to make some side-hustle money. Cryptocurrency, more regularly called crypto, is a method of decentralized, encrypted data transaction.

For a more simplified definition, crypto is the passing of money between two entities, whether these entities are companies or people it doesn’t matter. Crypto is data that is not managed by a singular entity. Instead, bits and pieces of the data are sent to random people on the internet who then do intense calculations and receive a small percent of the transaction in return. This can be similar to a pyramid scheme at times, where the lower tier who work for the higher-ups get minimal, or no profits.

The other profit avenue similar to crypto is the stock market. To compare and contrast; you invest in x amount of currency and then you hope that the value of that currency will rise and you can cash out, making money. This is how the stock market was intended to work but sadly, the stock market has also fallen victim to scams and schemes as well, most notably the Enron bankruptcy of 2001 and pump and dump fiascos.

Non-Fungible Tokens are the new modern cousin of these decentralized currencies and are built similarly to crypto. However, a notable difference is that it is a completely unique collector’s item that you trade. NFTs are mostly used to buy and sell other digital artwork and have the unique advantage of being one of a kind. This means that a famous painting such as the Mona Lisa can be one of a kind and sell for a ridiculous amount of money. A digital painting of a purple monkey eating a banana can also sell for a ludicrous amount due to it being one of a kind. The problems surrounding NFTs are the environmental costs of the randomly generated artwork, as the energy needed to create and render the one-of-a-kind piece is extensive.

Funnily enough, each scam is unique in its execution as some of the most common types of scams are rug-pulls, pump and dump, and phishing scams. This in turn can violate federal laws, as some of these scams can be deduced to money laundering. The more common scams you’ll encounter, the more it can be prevented. You can see if you are being scammed by doing a background check on the currency or NFT you’re trading. In the case of crypto, you’ll want to check its trading history, and in the case of a NFT, you want to check that it isn’t counterfeit. Other than that, simple internet security can go a long way.