Some scams are pretty obvious while others are really convincing and more subtle. Scammers are evolving their methods all the time. Noone is 100% immune to these scams but you can do your best to avoid them by understanding them.
In this post, I like to focus on scams happening in the Telegram messenger. Telegram Messenger is quite popular in the crypto space and among scammers. Scammers are using Telegram and other social networks to reach out to you directly.
Let me give you one example: Enter a crypto-related group on Telegram and write a simple "hello". Very soon you will receive the first direct messages from scammers who pretend to be from the official support team. Their aim is to get your 12-words backup phrase. Your 12-words backup phrase is the key to your wallet. It has essential meaning for keeping your funds safe.
Never ever give your backup phrase to someone else, especially not on Telegram or you are going to lose all your fund in your wallet.
I know that the dialogue in this example is quite funny, but if you ever receive a private message like this from someone who pretends to be from official support, block and report immediately!
Love Scammers are also quite active on Telegram. Simply block and report everyone on Telegram that is sending you an unexpected private message, that`s how I keep it on Telegram to stay safe. The same applies to spammy comments in social networks, emails, and phone calls.
But here is the thing, the reason why I am actually writing this post.
Recently, I have witnessed a completely different kind of scam on Telegram, one of the more convincing and subtle ones.
Someone posted a message in a crypto-related group on Telegram like this one: "Hey guys, I am already older and I lost my password to Trust Wallet. All I have are these 12 words: ..." Then he shared his 12-words backup phrase.
You know what that means. 🤓
Now everyone can restore this wallet by typing in the 12 words in Trust Wallet or any other non-custodial wallet and empty it!
Other users were writing stuff like: "Don`t share it here, delete it fast!" You may also think what a stupid old fart that he is sharing his backup phrase here publicly in a chat.
Well, he is actually not that stupid old fart that he pretends to be. In reality, he is a smart scammer looking for greedy victims. How does it work?
You see that someone is sharing his backup phrase. You know that you can easily empty the wallet now but you have to be fast because other group members are possibly also trying the same.
Greed has set in and in combination with the time pressure, you are more likely to fall for the scam.
So you successfully restored the wallet and what you find is this: a hell lot of ERC20 tokens but unfortunately no Ether to send them.
This means that if you want to empty the wallet, you have to send Ethereum to this wallet in order to cover the gas fees, and here is the trick.
If you send ETH to this wallet, it gets directly redirected to another Ethereum address. This is possible by programming the redirection into a smart contract. Don`t ask me how exactly this is done but I know that this is possible.
This is the moment you lost your Ethereum.
What kept me thinking about this scam is this. The victim of this kind of scam is actually someone who wanted to rip off an old fart from the internet. The victim itself had bad intentions, so hopefully, he learned his lesson.
The lesson is: Never get greedy and don`t rip off old farts on the internet because, in the end, it could be you who got rekt. What do you think?
My Final Conclusion
Scammers are everywhere and Telegram is their wet dream. Now as long as you are aware of how these scams are working, then you are already ahead of the scammers. As you know the methods that scammers are using you can avoid them and keep your crypto safe.
Please keep in mind that the best scammers are those who are constantly improving and evolving their methods. No matter how much they are evolving, they are always either appealing to your greed or to your fear.
However, I hope that now, after reading my post, you are well prepared to spot and avoid crypto scams.
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Update: I shared my post here on Twitter. Someone replied that he knows someone on Instagram who can help me restore my password.
As I said, scammers never rest! 😂