Cryptocurrencies are now growing at a fast pace, often becoming part of trending searches on Google, Twitter and other social platforms. Bitcoin and Ethereum have become prominent in 2020 thanks to many institutional investments such as GrayScale, PayPal and so on. And everyone knows that when an industry becomes attractive, criminals are always ready to exploit the hype of the moment in order to scam less experienced users.
Today we want to help you avoid these SCAMs and try to facilitate your experience in the crypto world. Here are some of the most common SCAMs used by criminals to try and extort cryptocurrencies from you. Let’s get started!
1) Fake Admins – On Telegram and other social networks, there are often criminals who create profiles that look exactly like the Admins of the groups you are following (they usually only change 1 letter in the username) who will contact you to offer support (they do this when you ask for help in a particular group) or to offer you unrepeatable offers. This is obviously a SCAM. NO SERIOUS crypto group administrator will ever contact you first.
2) Fake Airdrops – After the big airdrop of UNI tokens by Uniswap, on Twitter, Telegram and Discord you will find thousands of messages pointing to fake airdrop websites, with many positive comments on these messages (e.g.: Wow, I received xxx UNI, 1INCH tokens). These are well-organized criminals trying to get you to send tokens to some random address in order to later receive more, which is not going to happen, as you will lose all the tokens sent.
3) Santa Claus – A rather nice name to identify all those scams that ask you to send a given amount of bitcoin, ethereum or other tokens to receive back twice, thrice as much. But as we all know, there is no such entity as Santa Claus and no one in the world is interested in doubling your tokens for any reason. A scam that is very easy to identify but still works in 2021. Be careful and avoid all offers that seem too good to be true.
4) Fake Giveaways – Similar to point two, but in this case instead of airdrops the thieves promise giveaways in exchange for something like a follow on Twitter, Telegram or some other social platform. It usually works like this: Criminals create a group identical to another crypto group, add thousands of bots to make it look like the original group and then start offering giveaways, asking for things in return. This is obviously also a SCAM.
5) Fake PAIRs on Uniswap – Uniswap has now become a very well known exchange worldwide due to the fact that ALL ERC20 tokens, once created, pass through there before being added to other centralized exchanges. For this reason, many thieves create FAKE ERC20 tokens with the same name as some long-awaited token and add some liquidity on Uniswap (as of late they add as much as 500-800K USD of liquidity, convincing even experienced users) and let people trade for a few minutes/hours. Then, after selling the fake tokens, they withdraw the liquidity and users are left with 0 money and tokens that are not worth anything.
6) Fake Fundraising Addresses: As in point 5, criminals exploit the hype of long-awaited projects (lately it works with IDOs on Polkastarter) and create fake Telegram groups (both chat and announcements) and send a fake address where you can send your ETH to get the tokens you want. To make it seem more real, the scammers create several Telegram accounts and write to each other in the group, making it look like the original group. In order to avoid this kind of scam, all you need to do is access the Telegram groups by following the link provided on the project’s official website. I remember that in the case of Bridge Mutual, BMI token, the fake address has collected about 50 Ether, or more than $75,000, from unfortunate users who have been scammed!
7) Fake Escrow – Every now and then I read in various crypto groups ads for buying and selling OTC tokens. The reason is that the ‘gentlemen’ have too many tokens and want to avoid selling at market prices so as not to move the price too much. When they buy or sell they offer excessively good prices and many users fall for it. Then, using only Telegram, they ask YOU to choose a person who will escrow the transaction. They then create a Telegram group with you, your escrow and the criminal. At the same time, however, they create another identical group with you, a fake escrow (identical to your escrow account) and the criminal. In the first group your escrow will be muted and will not be able to respond, while in the second group you will read a message from your escrow confirming that the funds have been received and asking you to send the funds to the scammer. It’s a bit of a complex scheme that almost fooled me too, so be very careful and avoid all the good OTC offers you find on Telegram. The game only works on Telegram, so if you ask them to continue on Twitter or Discord of course they will say no.
8) Influencers – I know many of you rely on crypto influencers on Twitter to try and guess the next token that will make x10 or x100. Sadly, I will have to disappoint you. In 95% of cases, these influencers have either been paid by the token they are promoting or they have bought a lot of tokens during the DIPs and now they are promoting the project as the ‘project of the century’ in order to convince you to buy it so they can sell you the tokens at exorbitant prices. Obviously, they will use catchphrases like ‘epic pump’, ‘biblical pump’, ‘pump like never seen before’ and crap like that. Avoid them, they are the PLAGUE of the crypto world. I’m talking about influencers on Twitter, Youtube, Newsletters and so on.
9) Trending on DexTools – This is not a scam but a friend’s advice: AVOID buying tokens trending on Dextools. Why? In 90% of cases, these tokens have had private presales, public presales and launches on other DEXs before Uniswap, and once the tokens arrive on Uniswap they start to dump. Many users believe that making it to the top 10 on Dextools will help these tokens make incredible pumps, when in reality a Uniswap pair trending on Dextools is the peak and the moment when it will start to collapse and dump like crazy, even 50-80%. This only happens for tokens that are trending on Dextools for the first time. Wait a few hours/day if you are interested in buying tokens that are trending on this website.
10) Pump and Dump Groups – To end on a high note, absolutely avoid any pump and dump groups. These are petty people who buy tokens at low prices and then announce a pump, sell with 500%, 1000% gains and rip off users who follow them. No one in the world is fast enough to buy and sell a token in the various pump and dumps as they last 30-60 seconds. If you are already part of any pump and dump group on Telegram or Discord you will read many messages from people who have earned 0,3, 0,5, 1, 2, 5 bitcoin with their pump and dump. It’s all a well-organized scam, i.e. it’s always the creators of the group with FAKE accounts trying to trick you and convince you that their system works. One of the biggest SCAMs is called Big Pump Signal and they have pumped two tokens recently, PNT and SKY, making a profit for themselves and causing the value of the pumped tokens to be bought at 1000%. With 99% losses for those who followed them.