How to protect yourself from hackers and scammers
Independent Reserve takes extensive security measures to ensure the safety of all accounts. There are additional steps that are strongly recommended for users to protect themselves from bad actors accessing their account and funds.
It is important to firstly note that the Independent Reserve support staff will never ask you for your 2-factor authentication code or password. If you receive any correspondence from a party whether they claim to be associated with Independent Reserve or not that requests this information, immediately contact us.
Use a strong password
It is highly recommended to use a complex and unique password that has not been used or shared on any other websites or platforms you use. Strong passwords generally contain at least 8 characters with one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one special character and one number. It is also considered good practice to routinely change your password (every 3 months for example).
It is important to not reuse passwords that you may have used on other websites, as data leaks occur from time to time on 3rd party services. You can check here to see if your email address has been associated with any known leaks.
Enable 2-Factor authentication
Activating 2FA through Google Authenticator on your Independent Reserve account is a key step toward securing your account. This can be easily enabled in settings once you have logged into your account.
Bookmark our domain https://www.independentreserve.com
Bookmarking https://www.independentreserve.com and using this bookmark to access the website (as opposed to manually typing the address or searching in google) can substantially reduce the risk of falling victim to a website that is designed to imitate Independent Reserve to gain access to your login details. Always be sure to check that the lock symbol appears near the browser’s address bar that indicates your connection to Independent Reserve is secure.
Ensure emails are sent from us
Always be vigilant when opening and reviewing emails to ensure that it is not an email from a bad actor pretending to be Independent Reserve. Keep on the lookout for poorly worded emails, suspicious links and attachments. These are generally the most common ways that customers are compromised through ransomware.
Check your IP activity
It is considered good practice to check your IP login activity to ensure that it is only coming from verified devices. You can do this at any time by visiting your Log on History.
For extra protection against unauthorised logins you can enable Device Whitelisting, which will require confirmation via email when there is a logon from a new device or browser.
Beware of overseas brokers, investment websites, and offers too good to be true
Be suspicious of any person or organisation that is offering you easy money, or anything that may seem too good to be true. Bad actors in cryptocurrency are highly sophisticated and skilled at convincing you that their schemes are real, returns are high and risks are low.
These people or organisations may attempt to get you to invest by offering fast and high returns with low or no risk through digital currency investments and trading, unique offers in early-stage investments and other “insider information”. They may also pitch the opportunity to be of low or no risk because you will be able to sell at any time, get a refund for poor-performance, have access to insurance and more.
If you spot signs of the above, it is strongly recommended to hang up the phone or delete the correspondence and record the details to report them to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
In our experience, investing with these companies almost always ends up with the customer losing all of their money. Some well known scams to avoid are:
- GSPartners & GSTrade
- WDC Markets
- CTX Prime
- GT Stox
- Universal Markets
- Oasis Trading
- Golden Sky Capital
- Ads Supply
- Libra markets
- Bitcoin Revolution
- USI Tech
- Olympia Markets
- ASTAK IT Consulting
- Immediate Edge
- World Markets
- MTI Club
- Walton Chase
- Jacque Yves Nuar CO (JYNCFX)
- Profits Trade
- Merkell Group
- Markets Pilot
- The Investment Center
- Nova Brokers
The list above is non-exhaustive and these people or organisations are always creating new and inventive ways to gain access to your hard earned money.
Beware of recovery services
In the world of cryptocurrencies, recovery services are almost always fraudulent. Cryptocurrency transfers are for the most part immutable, which means they cannot be reversed. Any recovery service that asks for money up front is almost certainly a second level scam, and you will just lose more money to them. Unfortunately there are not a lot of good options when it comes to recovering lost funds as most of these scam companies are incorporated outside of Australia, so there is minimal legal recourse.
Only withdraw to trusted addresses
Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible so it is important to always double-check that you have the right cryptocurrency address and that you are transferring funds to a trusted recipient.
Article first published March 2020. Updates are made regularly as new information comes to light.