This scam involves creating clone accounts of Crypto Social Media Influencers, Crypto Icons and Founders (like Etherium´s co-founder Vitalik Buterin), support staff from known Exchanges, Crypto Whales and a long etc. This method is probably one of the most complex and daring because:
a) It is in the public eye( literally under people´s noses)
b) Involved accounts risk being blacklisted and permanently banned from such social networks
c) They act swiftly and can be very very convicing (till they are brought down)
The typical baits they use are Airdrops, sweepstakes, announcing false updates or news, " deposit crypto to earn double, triple in return¨. Here follows some examples of original Twitter account owners reporting or calling out such fraudsters.
Apart from being on the lookout for typical clone or impostor telltale signs like the use of caps versus small letters, variations of numbers or suffixes like .offical or .usd as in the example above. The "send your crypto and receive double" scam became so prominent that even the founder of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson spoke out in this Youtube video. He eloquently explains the Giveaway Scam below.
Lastly, these impostors can also pretend to be Customer Support. This actually happened to me, with no losses, fortunately. I wanted to solve a wallet connection issue with Trust Wallet. Since I could not send them a direct and private message, I tweeted. My tweet was picked up by both legit as well as a scam account. They both contacted me to olve the issue. Check out below the audacity of the fake account EVEN tryping to look like the GOOD GUYS rooting out the BAD APPLES...Yukkk! The telltale signs in this case was the fact that the account was not verified with a tick(), embarrassingly low follower count, and some "sloppy unprofessional sounding" language in the messages. Real and professional accounts should look and sound so(Crypto lingo and above-board English)
Be wary and hyper dilligent when you download Crypto Wallets off Android AND even iOS store. WHY? Again because of copycat wallets again IMPERSONATING legit wallets. This can happen around forking events. Still question what you see, check reviews and contrast or even check with THE REAL projects to verify! It takes a few more steps but the benefit is avoiding a lifelong regret (possibly)! Case in point below:
INFLUENCER YOUTUBER SCAMMERS
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the boggling modus operandi by Crypto Scammers is to scam with their publicly known personas in the public arena (social networks) - In broad daylight if you may. In this sense, if you own a project DO NOT blindly trust any Crypto Influencer with your Crypto to promote without insurance. One project team from Germany experienced it first hand. They tried to get a Youtuber, to promote their NFT´s. He received the NFT´s, blocked them and ppppuuuuffff dissappeared.
These exchanges can also be thought of as FLY-BY-NIGHT exchanges. Easy come, easy go so alarms should go off each time you come accross an unverified and unaudited exchange, which promises crazy returns, without "visible representative faces"! Fortunately, one of the platforms that IDENTIFIES; NAMES & SHAMES such exchanges is Bitcoin.com. So when in doubt check and contrast! If you don´t do your part, the crooks behind these exchnages will probably make off with your Crypto. Moreover, with Crypto still in multi-layered legal processes of legislation and institutional control, these unethical practices go unpunished.
CLASSIC PYRAMID SCHEMES
You probably know the classic pyramid scheme from but not limited to some Multi Network Marketing companies. The simple test is if the project or coin or token, requires that you get people to join as the MAIN activity, it´s a pyramid scheme. This required recruitment initiative normally baits and hooks participants with unreasonable returns too.(As expected in these tricks, you´d probably say). Examples of Pyramid or Ponzi Schemes in Crypto are: Onecoin (whose most recognizable rep and founder, Ruja Ignatova) simply dissappeared off the face of the earth. Another infamous case is of Bitconnect. Ironically, (or prophetically Crypto heavyweigths like Vitalik Buterin, followed by Mike Novogratz and Charlie Lee) poked holes in Bitconnect ludicrous and unsustainable return "promises".Others include PlusToken ,GainBitcoin and Mining Max, among many others in the past, present and to come. ONE CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL!
Similar to phishing scams in the banking sector, think of this type of scam as similar to Trojan virus that defrauds from the inside. The aim of this scam is to scrape your login details such as username, password and even seed phrases. REMEMBER, no legitimate exchange, project nor token will ask you to ¨provide such details¨. Avoid fishy out-of the-blue notifications and even invitations to fill out Google Sheets from unknown sources. Other typical phishing scams include punycode and fake airdrops. Find some practical tips to be on the safe side below:
You will smell out a fraudulent ICO if the whitepaper is copied, with spelling and/or grammar mistakes, mysterious team behind the project, no public access nor channel to ask questions. In addition these deceptive ICOs are sustained by noisy marketing hype and delusional project milestones. If you detect some or many of these red flags FLEE ASAP (and report to relevant reddit threads, or Crypto Youtube detectives like CoffeeZilla). I have included a video of CoffeeZilla exposing one of the many Crypto frauds..whether it´s a project or celebrity shilling a s**tcoin!
In conclusion, be wary and question everything and everyone. Also adapt the wisdom of the African proverb that states " Only a foold tests the depth of a river with both feet" .
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