In recent years crypto and blockchain saw a high rise, and it developed unrealistic expectations among the general public regarding crypto. Most newbies think crypto is a win-win world, which is practically not true. Fraudsters and cybercriminals are also taking advantage of the misguided perception in many ways that include but are not limited to fake investment schemes, rug pull scams, different play-to-earn models, etc. Recently Philippine Cyber Security Department of National Police issued a warning to citizens about Axie Infinity’s play-to-earn model after they received some complaints from the victims.
Why do Officials Consider Axie Infinity Risky?
Before getting into the details of why Axie Infinity is considered risky. It’s important to understand the working model of the game. On the platform, you can play various games, that include battles against human players and AI (the user is free to choose competitors).
Breeding( player can use favorite Axie to create offspring with desirable characteristics). You can also buy virtual lands that you can utilize later for various purposes. Users can also exchange assets, including Axies, land parcels, and other assets that they own in the game, on the in-game marketplace.
So the question may be rising in your brain that everything seems like a model of almost every game, then why is it risky? All this takes place for the exchange of two tokens SLP (Small Love Potion) and AXS (Axie Infinity Shards) or cryptocurrency. Scammers may manipulate the players to use their tokens and cryptocurrency for the exchange of promised high rewards. The player will end up with nothing in their hand. This is the reason why Phillpinian cyber security officials asked the users to be cautious.
Through the Mindset of a Scammer:
Let’s get into the scammer’s mindset. It will help you avoid getting scammed.
Fraudsters play with the trust of their victim. For instance, a police officer said, “Just because the game is underlying blockchain is secure does not mean its engine or marketplace is secure”. This is how scammers play with the minds of their victims. Here are the most common red flags to watch out for:
The Con Play: Scammers will claim themselves as experts. They will have one or a few success stories to tell or sometimes show you. This is to manipulate you into trusting them. Scammers will mirror your tone and will act extremely friendly. The scammer may also gaslight his victim to believe the entire marketplace is what we call blockchain and it is secure. Lastly, the scammer will build a pressured and urgent environment. This will force the victim to make quick decisions and hence fall into the scam.
Jargons and Technicalities: Only newbies fall for such scams. So scammers may also use complex jargon and technical concepts to confuse the victim and make the fraud feel real.
Pyramid Rewards: The reward systems promise higher returns and rewards if you bring in more people or investments. This makes victims believe they’re progressing toward higher earnings. Even if the Rewards are unreal.
Lack of knowledge, desire to achieve more in less time, and manipulation are some factors that together make the victim fall prey.
How to be on the Safe Side?
Educate Yourself: Before rushing into the game make sure you have invested good time in understanding the working and ecosystem of the game.
Always Start Small: If you are a newbie never make heavy investments in the game. Start small and progress towards higher investments and rewards.
Never Use Third-Party Resources: Don’t make transactions or interactions outside the official platform. If you do so you are exposing yourself to high risks.
Take Your Security Seriously: Use strong passwords and never share them. Practice two-factor authentication to enhance safety. And if someone sends you a link before clicking always verify its authenticity.
Use of Secure Wallets: Always use reputable and secure wallets to store currency and tokens.
Limited Personal Exposure: Never share your personal information with the people on the platform until and unless you don’t know them personally.
Be Skeptical: Seems odd right? But be skeptical of the offers and always check for their legitimacy. This rule also applies to small contracts over the platform.
Your Gut is Your Power: Last but not least, always trust your gut instinct it is rarely wrong. If you are getting a feeling something is not right, always double-check it.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos said and I quote “In the cryptocurrency space, it’s not uncommon for a project that seems promising to suddenly turn into a disaster”. But this should not discourage you from discovering and progressing discovering the world. But remember only the fittest survive. So remember to watch out for red flags and invest wisely. You will never regret it.