With all the buzz about bitcoin, more people are considering it as an investment opportunity. But with anything new and complex, con artists are there to take advantage. BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous complaints from consumers fooled by phony bitcoin investments, often losing thousands of dollars. How the Scam WorksYou are looking to purchase bitcoin, so you search online. You find a legitimate-looking website that offers to mine the cryptocurrency for a fee. (bitcoin is created by mining, using special software to solve complex math equations.) The website asks you to pay upfront, and bitcoin will be transferred into your account. However, after you make the payment, nothing happens. Other versions of this scam target investors trying to convert bitcoin to their local currency. For example, one consumer used a service to exchange bitcoin for US dollars and transfer the money into a PayPal account. However, the transaction didn’t work as planned. “My bitcoin account showed that the transaction went through but the transaction timed out,” read the report. Canadian consumers should be especially cautious. BBB has received complaints about apps that allow Canadian customers to purchase bitcoin, but they do not support selling it. As one consumer put it: “Basically, they tell you to buy bitcoins with their app knowing you're in Canada but once you put your money in, they don't allow you to take it out.”How to Avoid Bitcoin ScamsDo your homework. Read about the technology underlying the Bitcoin system. You need to know how it works if you want to manage and invest effectively. Make sure your sources are legitimate, and not just those trying to sell you something.Know where to store your bitcoins. It’s best not to store bitcoins in an exchange. Exchanges are sometimes vulnerable to hackers, whereas online wallets are considered a more secure place to store your currency.Be cautious with your investment. As with all investments, never invest money you can’t afford to lose. Investments come with risks and digital currency is still in a very early stage of development.Review BBB online shopping tips. Many online purchase scams use similar tactics, and bitcoin is a growing payment method for scammers. See BBB.org/shoppingonline for more advice. For More InformationRead more on BBB.org about online purchase scams and investment cons. To learn more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips (BBB.org/scamtips).To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/scamtracker).