By now, you should know that Paxful takes the safety of your money very seriously, so much so that even Chainalysis—a team of blockchain analysis experts trusted by leading banks and governments—named us one of the safest exchanges in the world.

But here’s the thing—no matter how hard we try to kick the bad actors off of our platform, we still need you to do your part in keeping scammers at bay. Let’s go through a checklist to see how you can protect your money.

1. Study Paxful’s rulebook aka our Terms of Service (ToS)

We know, we know. Terms of Service are usually packed with legal information and not exactly the easiest thing to read, but when it comes to your money, you should know by heart what you can and cannot do on Paxful.

Know your rights, play by our rules.

2. Look for fully verified users—they’re your best friends!

Most bad actors don’t want to verify their IDs because they know they’d get into trouble sooner or later. This means that verified users are much more reliable and trustworthy.

By the way, did you know that we have a tiered KYC policy where the higher the amount you trade, the more due diligence we do with your account? This way, you can feel safe even when trading a large amount of money. 

3. Only trade with users who have lots of positive feedback 

This may go without saying, but users having a large amount of positive feedback is generally a very good sign. After all, who would say something bad about a trading partner if the trade was smooth, fast, and easy?

If you want to be extra safe, check a trader’s negative feedback score and see what others have said about them. We encourage y’all to know your risks before entering a trade. 

4. Keep your conversations professional 

Many people earn their living from trading on Paxful, so respect the people you trade with and act how you wish to be treated. We’re all people with feelings at the end of the day! 

5. Cancel the trade if something smells fishy 

There are telltale signs when your trading partner is a scammer. For example, if your trading partner pressures you to release bitcoin early or tries to negotiate a different trade amount than the one agreed upon, you should cancel the trade ASAP.

From an interview with Paxful Peers, we learned that scammers “may try to get you to sympathize with the tough situation that they’re in. They’ll promise to send money back to you, but it never happens! Some of them might even try to befriend you and bring up a proposal that’s almost too good to be true.”

And when something is too good to be true, stay away from it!

6. Do not—we repeat—DO NOT trade off escrow

Paxful has escrow in place so that bitcoin is only released when payment is received and confirmed. When you move off escrow to trade on other messaging platforms, there is no guarantee that your money is safe.

With us, you can easily open a dispute if something goes wrong during a trade. Plus, we can always check the trade chat history and proof of payment then award the bitcoin to the honest party in the case of a dispute. 

Stick with us, because we’re the ones that will go through the thick and thin with you. 

7. Understand that big profits don’t come overnight 

Our bigger vendors have made it big because of their consistent hard work, not because they’re lucky. Many of them suggest going for smaller profits through a variety of trades, not one big trade that would earn you an annual income worth of profit.

8. Make sure all the names match up

We check all of your IDs to make sure your names are real, so when you trade, always double-check that the person you’re trading with has the same ID as the one you’re sending your funds to.

If you’re doing bank transfers, then the name on the bank account should match with that on the Paxful account. If it looks like you’re sending money to different people, don’t do it. 

Want more tips? 

The above eight are some basic tips for you to trade safely on Paxful. Want more insight into maximizing your time on Paxful? Give our past Bitcoin Friday webinars a listen. You’ll hear personal stories from experienced traders, our customer support frontline, and crypto compliance specialists.