Common types of crypto scams and how to avoid them

Common types of crypto scams and how to avoid them

By SpamReports | SpamReports | 24 Jan 2021


Common crypto scams

Summary

Giveaway or airdrop scams are among the most prevalent type of crypto scam and are typically posted to Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and YouTube. Since there are real airdrops that happen this confuses users even more.

Other very commonly met scams are "Advance Fee" scams and fraudulent crypto investment platforms with zero liquidity. Send small fee to get big gift back.

Most crypto scams have similar repeating patterns:

  • A malicious actor compromises and/or impersonates a social media account of a prominent public figure or crypto exchange- Bill Gates, Elon Musk, The Winkelvoss twins, Vitalik Buterin and so on 
  • The account begins soliciting BTC or ETH with a typical “send one, get two back” scheme. For any unsuspecting naïve and greedy "investors" who send through crypto to the wallets highlighted on the scam accounts, that crypto will be lost forever!
  • No famous person like Elon Musk, Bill gates nor any reputable cryptocurrency exchange as Kraken, Binance or Gemini will ask you to transfer cryptocurrency payments through social media accounts!!!
  • All unsolicited DMs about airdrops and giveaways are confirmed scams!
  • Scammers often try other tricks like a vanity wallet and incorporating a sense of false urgency - like ONLY 5 SLOTS LEFT, or ONLY 20 BTC LEFT. This could manifest itself as a “Live Video” on YouTube or a statement noting that only a limited number of coins will be “given” away. The goal here is to encourage victims to act quickly and without vigilance.

Once a victim sends any crypto assets to a “giveaway” address, they are gone forever! Due to the finality of cryptocurrency transactions, there is no way to reverse a transaction unless the recipient decides to return the funds.

  • 1. Fake YouTube videos
  • 2. Bitcoin Revolution scams
  • 3. Fake exchanges and investment platforms
  • 4. Twitter verified scams (fake giveaways)
  • 5. Discord DM unsolicited Spam
  • 6. Fake ICOs
  • 7. Fake Uniswap clones
  • 8. Compromised device
  • 9. Fake Ledger and Trezor support
  • 10. Sim Swapping
  • 11. Social engineering attacks and sextortion
  • 12. Fake wallets and Google play store apps

Let's dive in alongside the most common crypto scams out there:

 

1. Fake YouTube videos

with botted views showing Vitalik, Elon Musk, Bill Gates or other famous philanthropic or crypto person

Example:

image7cb848e5fad46d20583b586eeb83237ba112aedb285bf8cd3686aa9bd10bb1eb.png

d62506f59d0c4737462ebb4c4e4ec375c4637d7439f822ea5124b9833071fd0c.png

This scam relies upon those prerequisites:

-Hacked Youtube account with more than 1K subs that is eligible for live streaming.

-The hacked Youtube account (ATO) is renamed to SpaceX foundation, Tesla, Elon Musk, Gill Gates Foundation, Balancer exchange and so on and pushes a live stream showing recording of some real conference to add “credibility” (see above Vitalik) and a fake site gets added to the description.(above in red)

855c1d9e73741604a07dee0a6c8b2716147925ad22aaeb292f96f392ef0cc2fe.png

-Then bots are used to generate views and this fools YouTube’s algorithms to display videos as “related” to users who are interested in crypto currencies.

-They also build a fake site with the same “promotion” tied to it:

imagec51083797825d7b7fbc2fc225506f6bfccb6cd2e91e38d262be20cdb2aeb8600.png

The fake sites always promise send 1 and get 2 back, in various ways. Anything sent gets lost forever.

“Join the Ethereum”. lol

Scammers will also use so called vanity wallets to make the scam seem more realistic.

For instance a scam related to Elon Musk might have a BTC adders like those:

₿ 1MusK1vebpJwEWneZNH8oGCpRPE5TCGrUo

₿ 1MuskHeGo7M2nTAz16PxSGzP5w1qDsNKb3

₿ 1MUSK1Je69ucdgjgMrwHb7DR9YxgzEvSKQ

₿ 1MUSK1b1pE8Vd3p67Cc2fSPFLWEEL2kdj9

₿ 1MusK1qqdzpqrmfWSFiHbWENeSbEaiicFa

⚠Here are some scammer wallets I have collected

 

2. Bitcoin Revolution scams

bitcoin revolution SCAM

Those are linked to semi legitimate businesses and often push referrals.

It is usually fake news article and fake video of a famous rich millionaire like Richard Branson or Elon Musk and some lies about them starting the bitcoin revolution. There is often a sense of urgency asking users to sign up for the last slots.

e5ba732c0e3e562b6278edf2a17177bad82864969bb81d49c2e30d2c6689c43d.png

Stay away from those sites.

image

 

If you sign up for those they will siphon as much money as they can, luring you that you are now bitcoin rich. but if you try to withdraw, you realize this has been a scam all along.

3. Fake exchanges and investment platforms

Fake exchanges with no liquidity that only seek to rob users.

Advance fee scams

Here is a code - you supposedly WON, but need to deposit first as verification. FAKE!

fd0a2aa0dcf58c2f31cec8e9fec957c17283f5724c53f68dd53c1e4e6c6de12f.png

imageimage

They are always created recently and offer no real backing of funds. The company registration number phone and everything is usually fake.

They can have real deal phones as well with fake employees, luring investors.

Examples of fake exchanges:

bitawo.com

bitexbase.com
binetex.com 
bitcmoney.com
bitcupcoins.com
bitexbase.com
bitlac.com
bittque.com
bixalert.com
cashbitex.com
coinschangers.com
legitexbit.com
letexbit.com
letmecoin.com
letmecrypto.com
qtumcap.com
www.bixalert.com
xlmbit.com

bithau.com/en
bitlau.com/en
bitmau.com/en
bitnau.com/en
bitzir.com/en
btcfaze.com/en
btchaze.com/en
btclore.com/en
btcrade.com/en
btcvup.com/en
btcyum.com/en
coinmik.com/en
coinpye.com/en
coinriz.com/en
coinroz.com/en
coinrye.com/en
coinvaze.com/en
coinvoz.com/en
coinzir.com/en
coinzor.com/en
diubit.com/en
lirbit.com/en
lorebtc.com/en
oirbit.com/en
onkbit.com/en
pirbit.com/en
pyebit.com/en
rifbit.com/en
riubit.com/en
rondobit.com/en
ryebit.com/en
shadebit.com/en
syebit.com/en
ufibit.com/en
uinbit.com/en
uncbit.com/en
vifbit.com/en
vosbit.com/en
whalexchange.com/en
wozbit.com/en
zifbit.com/en

SCAM MESSAGE:

Arizona Energy ✔Today at 7:58 AM
🔥Сongratulаtions!🔥

✉lf you are rеading this mеssаgе, you are one оf the winnеrs in оur majоr GIVEAWАY

🎁Yоu аre one оf thе WINNЕRS

In a charitу draw of ВTC, which was аrrаnged bу оur Trading Рlatform tоgether with our dear invеstоrs. In order tо makе pеople hарpy in thе nеw уеаr 2021, we deсidеd to аttrаct new раrticipants аnd thank thоsе whо hаvе alrеаdy registered. The amоunt of thе drаw is 7.77 BTC. Log in to уour aсcоunt or, if yоu arе not аlreadу а member, сrеate аcсount аnd rеceivе уour prize.

xlmbit.com/
💰- уоu prizе is 18.500$ in BTС аt the сurrеnt ехchаnge rate.
💰- Imрortant thе prоmo сodе is vаlid fоr 7 days, yоu сan cоntinuе to invest оr withdrаw the рrizе.
💰- Dо not give thе рrоmo сodе to аnоther pеrsоn
💰- Yоur рromо соde: U2V2KG43FX
Yоu cаn aсtivatе thе prоmo codе оn thе «Settings» -> «Rеferrаl рrogram»
🎈- In casе оf prоblеm situаtions, we аlwауs havе online suppоrt on our Trading Рlаtfоrm

Thе Xlmbit team wishеs уou a Luсky New yеar 2021!

IF YOU DON’T KNOW АNYTHING AВОUT СRYРTОСURRENСIЕS, РLЕАSЕ IGNОRE THIS MЕSSАGЕ

Fake bitcoin investment scam! ADVANCE FEE SCAM!

You need to “deposit first” in order to withdraw the FAKE bonus, and loose assets. FAKE STAY AWAY!

copycat clones

same scam different name

 

BTCShade, ShadeBTC and so on (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)cd66cdc7adea7ec6535c3b6eaf45fa0ad065d5689e3d6d127c5d308174b55f7c.png

Spam DM

cafb877ee2aa224b8d4576747ef9eae3e188678240e359f03e175abf9368ab81.png

 

BTCShade (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)caedea3c63e8df123373b229d3268f0a5a0e835a75b8d3d456faedfa23a3e5bd.png

BTCHAZE, XLMBIT and so on (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)

d02440ff6bfa9e572e38052e658ded95727207cc86c9563081ea2a443c9839ec.png

LOREBTC (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)

8f42b6d74e4b992cda2f7379cee01c004407e5da5f1b17bc115afba4d03a6f5a.png

 

BTCVup (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)

c2440392b384355f6ea1e3b713922bf6536f176cb467a03b87dd50a38144defc.png

RivBit, BitLisk, LoreBTC, BTCLore, BTCHaze (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)

bad ipBTCHAZE

a3470c50a4e5535ad4e086c62e0e87e5f00aac4660dc0c971a5b14c7b0f57f7f.png

XLMBIT (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)

459a095475f4b88a57e9da2a6d8bb4ce7e90bf44b43bee7af9871b77e285a436.png

 

ad903ccfc42dd78f1cc82a3bc5722491d03cfdcec04509576f7333bdb90204dc.png8b24d4a2e695d1e1ec1e132b31a8195d22c49e0b495a4d6237cc675709dd7366.png

 

BitCupCoins SCAM (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)d52135d97ab25ea49a8068d33f32a8cbea7b56a1493c2113b4b98a8ea9630b2b.png

Blockexcoin SCAM (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)8b24d4a2e695d1e1ec1e132b31a8195d22c49e0b495a4d6237cc675709dd7366.png

 

BitexBase SCAM (notice how it is exactly the same fake site, only name has changed)

bdb30844b793ab9c8ea0074da8b7f12958cbb57812462ff1848a781ad788d2ca.png

4. Twitter verified scams (fake giveaways)

Often stolen profiles get renamed to Elon Musk and start to offer “giveaways”.

5642b4450fd8300934c4de1862d88cc4040f17b2960b96d6ae12f892bbbbb7ea.png

They also use Reply Spam under legitimate Elon Tweets!

imageimage

100% of those are fake.

YTfake

Scammers put videos in the replies, that appear to be as if “verified” Elon Musk typed them.

Also use hi jacked Verified accounts hacked or bought from OG users.b3e9ea59173d04eb98a387cd6aa4745046f9478436268a434485c2cb7e3a6c9b.png

They always link to a fake site. Usually medium and then a few Blogger or Blogpost fake posts. 

 

imagebbb42d2824676e4cd1efdc6b75078f0c4e04b4e5ce9b6739f5e146f0c0eaefd0.png

5. Discord DM unsolicited Spam

imagediscord DM spam

Good rule of a thumb is Uniswap will never DM you with an airdrop, nor will Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Coinbase, Kraken, Binance nor will the latest hot token be it FuruCombo, DEX, MEX or whatever.

 

imageimage

 

6. Fake ICOs

NotanImaginaryDude lost $140K worth of $UNI overnight. Lets say NotanImaginaryDude sees a fancy new "farming" (YEARNING) scheme called “UniCats”, and decides to invest some money in it. Who knows, it might be the “next YFI” (first big mistake)

Then NotanImaginaryDude decides to deposit some $UNI, and gets the trivial message “Allow this Dapp to spend your UNI” message from Metamask wallet extension.

Naturally they think “Oh sure, this again. As with all the farming Dapps do that, no worries

And approves the transaction! (second big miskate)

NotanImaginaryDude farms some $MEOW, and happily decides ”Done with this $MEOW game. I’ll pull out all my UNI and capitalize gainz now

What NotanImaginaryDude doesn’t know though, is that once they approved the contract to use ∞ tokens, the contract can take their tokens at any time. Even after they were withdrawn from the farming scheme!

 

Bottom line - be careful which site you allow your metamask to interact with.

image image image

~Create a ERC20 token (bitCNY)

~Give yourself all the supply

~Say you will be listed on x, y, z (fake)

~"Raindrop"  - collect ETH from investors

~Cash out ETH ~$75k

~Investors are left with WORTHLESS token 

~Scammer makes Profit

 

⚠Contracts with emergency drain or releaseValue() function draining the ETH

OR

emergencyDrainAfterLiquidityGenerationEventIsDone

Watch out!

fake contrct

 

7. Fake Uniswap clones

image image

NEVER enter key or phrase! Especially in some dodgy site!

scam DM

 

8. Compromised device

Never mine crypto and use a wallet on the same device.

Always use 2FA, best bet is to have a separate Chromebook or Macbook or PC/laptop that is not used for every day use, but only for crypto.

This can be a scary one. Copy and paste the "correct" wallet, but actually it gets replaced by malware to scammers wallet!

Or hacked PC and signed transaction actually signs TWO transactions, one hidden in the background! OUCH!

(see below Hugh Karp NXM hack)

image

Or modified background.js or metamask to approve hidden transaction EVEN WITH LEDGER.

9. Fake Ledger and Trezor support

Ledger does not phone you. Nor do they want your backup phrase in a dodgy portal.

image image image

10. Sim Swapping

If you notice GSM service disruptions allay assume sim hack!

Use authenticator app, not SMS!

⚠Enable SINGLE DEVICE MODE to prevent app being cloned (AUTHY). 

 

11. Social engineering attacks and sextortion

Be careful who you chat with and who is asking you for your mothers maiden name or your first pet.

Make sure to scrub off metadata from photos before sharing etc.

(i.e. I have a video of you doing bad stuff, send BTC to avoid getting exposed bla bla)

49f4d32c9f700fe15416a71bead4cce9dffaaf0ba0b5dd03e026ef4eb868461a.png

0e6656abeb29d1802a4c053345c7dafa5bdcd395b022d2162295f6872d393a99.png

If you got an email that somebody has a shameful video of you and extorts you, it is a scam.

 

12. Fake wallets and Google play store apps

For example TRON does not have an app yet, but hackers are uploading FAKE Tron apps to google play store, promising and airdrop.

Fake Polkadot 

DOT

Fake Tron Airdrop

fake tron AIRDROP

a98a7904c5f1811a9184162d9342d0f3985947bb2fe83296ad78504ff235b6ba.png

Fake Youtube Uniswap app wallet

Fake Youtube Apps

 

Fake Youtube MakerDAOedce12cbe937bd428c6b70ddacb4658a34c33eb70c5e7ebbd82b4304b1d7c42e.png

 

b1c9f5bf6861c65ea56c0f2f85c84e7964640a75c8779d626f00a58b630028a9.png

9ed46a069b9c8e1e7c2d4e40841836563d7aa08c73c1d39adbf6b937cf3e8b95.png

NEVER ENTER SEED OR KEYS!

Fake web wallet

4596690df638ac3ab8c892b00a9d46eb9404ec9ba7a5b1e45860827ed222ec6a.png

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