Episode 336 - On this week's show we explain how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and the crypto exchanges to look at. We also discuss the crypto scams that have cost investors as much as £500,000. We also look at the national insurance and divided tax hikes and how they affect you before finally explaining the changes to the state pension triple lock
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Abridged transcript - Episode 336
Andy Leeks 03:07
So Bronte. What are you going to be talking about this week?
How to buy Bitcoin
Bronte Carvalho 03:12
Cryptocurrency has been all over the press recently so I'm just going to cover for all those who are interested in investing in it, how you go about buying Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency and the best places to do it.
Read Bronte’s article “A step-by-step guide on how to buy Bitcoin” for more information.
Andy Leeks 15:45
Okay, so let's move onto something we've seen quite a lot in the press recently and that is Cryptocurrency scams.
Damien Fahy 15:52
Ok, so because of the anonymity that you can have when you make Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions, it can attract a certain type of person. A number of the banks early this year started to block payments to crypto exchanges because they're trying to limit the potential exposure to fraud for a lot of their customers. So even if you did want to trade or buy bitcoin, then you may find you can't do it via your bank when you want to transfer money across. In fact, there was one story which even made to the BBC this week, where somebody lost half a million pounds on a Bitcoin scam.
A number of the big scams are linked to what are known as ‘romance’ scams. These will often start somewhere else, such as a dating app in order to build up a rapport with someone. There are stories where people have taken all the precautions and they have even chatted to them live on Skype calls over many, many months and so feel like they've actually got a rapport and a relationship with this person. Of course, lockdown did enable some of these fraudsters to take advantage of the inability to meet people. Obviously, whenever somebody doesn't want to meet with you that would normally raise alarm bells if you're building a relationship online.
What then tends to happen is that the chat will move onto something like WhatsApp, or some other kind of messaging network. That happened to a lady who thought she was talking to somebody who worked for one of the crypto exchanges. In this example, she wasn’t particularly keen, but decided to start off by investing a small amount. The scammer showed them how to trade, helped to open accounts and move money around and slowly started to gain their trust. It is at this point that things started to go awry and she realised that the money she'd been transferring and the scammer, along with the money ultimately disappeared.
Another type of crypto scam taht has been highlighted is via YouTube ads. There have been adverts on YouTube with recognized cryptocurrency experts and the scammers are using footage of those people to add some kind of credibility to the advert. Often the adverts will contain some form of giveaway, maybe it's Bitcoin or Etherium. People will be attracted to those, complete a form and so the merry go round starts where you end up starting to transfer small amounts of money. In one case, a guy ended up losing half a million pounds via one of these scams. Also be aware of comments in YouTube or Instragram where people promise unrealistic investment returns. They are just another means of trying to get you to go through a link in order for them to try and scam you.
There is another scam where people get in contact with you claiming to be from the exchange that you use, and effectively gain details from you that enables them to steal your funds. Another one is an employment offer scam where you get an offer of employment from one of the exchanges and they get you to try and do some work for them on a promise of being paid in a cryptocurrency. Ultimately, it's a means of trying to download software onto your computer or some kind of phishing scam.
What's interesting is that a lot of these scams are ones that have existed previously, but the conduit now on a lot of these scams is whatever is most popular, and right now that is cryptocurrency. Finally, be aware of multi layer marketing, which is effectively just a form of Ponzi scheme. Essentially you sell a product and then you recruit more people to sell the product and you get cut off their sales. Ok, if you are right at the top of the pyramid, then you might get away with it and make some money, but if you lower down, you're never gonna end up making money. It has happened with cryptocurrencies where people may be trying to get you to sell tokens or buy tokens that are backed by real assets like gems, but it's just a Ponzi scheme, so be aware. So there you go. There's a roundup of some of the scams that are doing the rounds that have unfortunately cost people their life savings.
National insurance tax rises and suspension to triple lock pension increase
Andy Leeks 24:04
Okay, moving on to the last piece of the podcast and Damien is going to explain the latest tax rise announcements and what they mean for you.
Damien Fahy 24:19
There have been a number of tax rises announced recently as well as the announcement that the triple lock pension increase is being temporarily suspended
Read our full breakdown of both in the following articles
- A beginners guide to investing in cryptocurrency
- Best cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK
- How the new rate hike will affect you
- Pension triple lock suspended: What you need to know
- NI to rise and new tax for 2023: How the new rate hike will affect you
- Pension triple lock suspended: What you need to know