Binance P2P: 11 Tips to Protect Yourself From Scammers
If you’re an experienced P2P trader, there’s a big chance that you already encountered a few P2P scams aimed at stealing your assets or private information. If you’re new to P2P trading, read this article and learn from others’ experiences.
P2P trading has its specific risks, which we previously discussed in our articles called 4 Common Peer-to-Peer Trading Mistakes to Avoid and Binance P2P: Trade Bitcoin Safely With Tips From the Pros. We recommend that you read these two articles to understand why P2P requires awareness and prevention before you jump into specific actions you can take against scammers.
Together with the Binance P2P and Security teams, we created this article with eleven tips to protect yourself from scammers when trading P2P. Let’s get to the tips.
Tip 1: Use trusted platforms with KYC
Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations aren’t the most popular part of trading crypto, but we’re required to follow these regulations, and at the same time, they help us protect you against scammers. All Binance P2P traders must complete basic identity verification, which significantly reduces the risks of transacting with fake accounts or those with stolen identities.
Tip 2: Use a unique email and password for your P2P account
We know how hard it is to remember all the emails and passwords, so it’s more convenient to use the same email and password for all our accounts. However, this is dangerous behavior, because any potential breach of one account or website, will also compromise your other accounts as they’re using the same email or password.
It takes only a few minutes to create a new email address, and many email providers will give it to you for free—Gmail, Protonmail, or Outlook, to name a few.
To create and store unique and safe passwords, you can use one of the free password managers, such as LastPass, Bitwarden, or Dashlane.
Tip 3: Do not share your sensitive data
The easiest way to steal someone’s funds is to obtain their login details. And it’s even easier if the account owner willingly shares these details with the hacker.
Never share your login details with a counterparty, and never ever provide your password to anyone. Not even to customer support. Binance customer support will never ask for your password, and if anyone ever does, you can be certain they’re a malicious actor.
Tip 4: Regularly check Haveibeenpwned.com for potential leaks
Haveibeenpwned.com provides the public with service to enter their email address and verify if this address leaked in recent data breaches. This is extremely important as when such a breach occurs, it’s usually not just the email addresses that leak, but quite often also passwords, personal details, and even payment or shipping details.
Visit haveibeenpwned.com, enter your email, and check if you fell victim to hackers. If you identify that your email address has been compromised in a data breach, immediately update all your passwords and increase your security standard by enabling 2FA where possible.
Tip 5: Don’t trade outside of the P2P platforms
There might be occasions when the counterparty asks you to continue with the trade outside of the trading platform. They will argue that this way, both of you can save on fees (Binance P2P has zero fees), but in most cases, it’s just a scammer trying to lure you away from the security of Binance P2P.
Once you start communicating with the counterparty outside of Binance P2P, we cannot protect you or assist you with any issues that might arise due to this communication.
Tip 6: Bookmark the P2P website
The increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies attracts scammers that develop new and original ways to steal your assets and data. One of such methods is fake phishing websites.
These websites impersonate genuine P2P trading platforms or crypto wallets and lure you into believing that you interact with a genuine website. You’ll be asked to enter your login details or recovery seed, but nothing happens once you do. You just gave your details to hackers, and your assets are at immediate risk.
It would be best if you always verified that you’re visiting a correct URL and that there are no typos or unusual characters in the URL. The easiest way to avoid this is to bookmark your favorite trading platforms and wallets and avoid entering the URL manually.
Tip 7: If a trade sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
It doesn’t take long to find a trading offer you can’t reject - low fees, prices that often go below the market rate, and a wide range of payment methods. These all sound too good to be true.
Malicious actors often post attractive ads to lure newcomers and less-experienced traders into a trade, where they’ll attempt to steal their funds or data. Always use common sense - people trade to make a profit, so why would they trade at a loss?
Tip 8: Trade with verified merchants
If you are new, we recommend you trade with verified merchants on Binance P2P, which you can quickly identify by their yellow badge. They pass an additional check, facial recognition videos, proof of commercial experience, proof of reputation and customer satisfaction in other exchanges, etc., that prove their peer-to-peer trading experience.
Tip 9: Trade with users who have positive feedback and high completion rates
We recently added a new feature to the Binance P2P platform. Users can now leave comments on their trading counterparties to help other users select the best merchant. Read more about the new comment feature here.
Here are indicators that can help you find the best merchant:
Trade with merchants that provide a security deposit, essentially an escrow fund, ensuring no cheating or wash trading. Users don't need to worry about suffering fiat or crypto assets loss with this deposit.
Check their total orders and the number of completed transactions.
Check their 30d orders history, number of transactions completed in the last 30 days, and their 30d completion rate - the percentage of transactions that he has started and completed successfully in the previous 30 days.
Average release time, how long it usually takes for the seller to release the crypto.
Average pay time, how long does it usually take the merchant to transfer the money.
Usually, scammers don't have time to build a reputation or achieve a high completion rate and short release time and pay time. If you're interested in more tips on how to pick the best offer check our article 5 Tips on How to Pick the Best Offer When You Buy Bitcoin on Binance P2P.
Tip 10: Cancel the trade if you think that the trade counterparty is a scammer
There are some indications that the counterparty is trying to scam you, for example when they use offensive or aggressive language in the platform's internal chat, they pressure you to release the crypto/money early, try to negotiate a different trade amount that the one agreed upon, they ask you to pay a fee (Binance P2P has 0 fees), or they ask you for a loan, etc.
We also suggest that you read our User transaction policy. We know that legal information is not the easiest thing to read, but it is about your money, you need to understand what rights and responsibilities come with P2P trading.
Tip 11: Make sure the merchant details match
Always double-check that the person you're trading with has the same ID as the one you're sending your funds to. We require that the account holder's name on the payment method the merchant uses is identical to the merchant's real name (KYC name) on Binance.
If you find a discrepancy in the counterparty's details or your own details, immediately contact Binance customer support and request the parties' verification.
There's no way to protect yourself against scammers and hackers completely, but you can significantly increase your chances of resisting such attacks by staying aware and educated. Now that you know the 11 tips to protects yourself from scammers, what about learning even more? The best place to boost your security and privacy knowledge is Binance Academy. Give it a try!