Instead of writing that you as a user should avoid any sort of contact with both the deep and the dark web, we will simply explain you how to avoid scam traps.
Sure, there’s no formula for detecting fraudulent sites. But there are indicators that filter out fake services from a real services.
Rule of Thumb 1 – Always Be Skeptical
This is the rule of thumb in life and when using hidden services.
Roughly 20 minutes ago we were browsing the hidden network and came across a platform, apparently a hosting service that was according to the provider’s message basic scam. It said “Thank You! Every software should have an ending, at least this one does now. I can’t believe you are so stupid and bought a fake service for over 4 years. I made 200 BTC from you idiots.”
Unfortunately we don’t find the .onion link right now, was more or less a random click.
Rule of Thumb 2 – Never pay by bank transfer
Unfortunately, this has happened a ridiculously amount of times. Hidden services, which ask the user to pay via bank transfer/wire are most certainly fraudulent services.
There’s a reason why we call them “hidden services”. Else these services would be on the clear net.
Check the .onion URL
Don’t say it. We know. Checking an onion-URL might not seem to be the smartest way to detect traps. It might seem pointless to check the 32-character address (or 56-character address) with mostly random characters – it’s just too much work. But it actually is worth it.
Is the offer too good to be true?
You surely have heard that at least once. Honestly? Any given hidden service can offer a large service for a small price. Yes, it exists!
Nevertheless, scam websites/services use low prices to lure bargain-hungry users to quickly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent items.
Browse through the hidden service’s pages
Take a couple of minutes to double-check the site. Poor English should not necessarily be a bad indicator. If you are unsure if it’s an legitimate hidden service, browse the web or even hidden search engines such as Torch.
Once your money is gone, it’s gone.
Decided to buy something from a hidden service? Checked all from the above? Great! The last thing you should keep in mind is once a payment with any given cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero) is done, the money is gone and there’s no way to get it back.