A New Crypto Scam "Influencers Won't Tell you About"
People have lost billions to Crypto investment scams and it has no signs of stopping
Scammers are usually a step ahead. There is always innovation and social hacking involved. Sometimes you may read a scam mail and think, who the heck is falling for this badly written, spelling-mistake-ridden obvious scam email? But that itself is a strategy.
The scam posts are written terribly, by design. It removes the observant people from the equation. Only the vulnerable will fall for those scams, and scammers prey on them.
An FTC report says people have collectively lost over $1 billion to crypto scams in just 2021. In 2018, when the bear market was at its peak and crypto was relatively unknown, I interviewed a scammer, who told me they made Rs. 1 lakh each month.
Just this Sunday, attackers hacked PwC Venezuela’s Twitter account and shilled an XRP scam. A Binance executive claimed, that scammers made deep fake videos of him in order to scam people. Off and on we see deep fakes of Elon Musk on Youtube doing giveaways. In India, we recently had the “Bitcoin Loophole” scam which created an article to look like Billionaire Azim Premji and Actress Priyanka Chopra had found a way to make money by Bitcoin loophole.
I understood the seriousness of the scam after receiving thousands of views on our video and a neighbour messaging me the fake article and asking if I would like to invest in it.
Tons of scams like investment, mining advice, romance, and more have stolen money from innocent victims. And now there is a new one.
Influencers hide it, Media is silent about it
Nothing attracts an innocent audience more than the line - the media is silent about something. This is what the scammers are using as bait. They upload youtube video links, hence no one is sceptical about clicking random links, and say that the media is not talking about it.
You and I can immediately identify this as an obvious bait to trap innocent traders. But as I said before, this is the way it is designed. It is not designed to trap experienced people, it is designed to trap the unsuspecting, vulnerable people who simply want to quickly make money and solve their own troubles.
They fall for these baits, and then they lose their money to scammers. The systems cost very little in both time and money, as all these replies are automated, every comment is bought and sent by bots, every view is paid for, the scam can run for weeks, and trap one-two investor a day to scam them for $50-$100 which still makes decent money over a long period.
In these videos, they ask you to go to a certain link from the description, connect your Metamask wallet and then run a code (a bot) and give permission when Metamask asks for it. They claim you will make $1000 or 100% profit by doing so.
From here on, the user has given access to all the assets in their Metamask wallet to the smart contract this scam site is running and it will quickly drain everything in their account.
Once again, an observant and experienced user will possibly notice this and stop there, but an unsuspecting user may ignore this or not notice it at all.
Stay Safe out there
Scammers and scams are part of this ecosystem whether we like it or not. The only solution to avoid getting scammed is either to truly listen and learn from the experts and experienced people or to experience one yourself.
But as we get busy with our life, we become less aware of obvious baits, that scammers and hackers are smartly inserting into our lives.
I have been in this industry for half a decade and I have fallen for rug pulls, scams and baits too. I had no idea that Uniswap listing was something that can be faked and I fell for it in 2020. With everything that is happening in the industry at lightning speed, it is hard to keep up and easily identify the right processes to stay safe.
Double-check everything that you do. Sending crypto to someone? Double-check the address. Investing in a token? Double-check the smart contract. Trying to use a website/portal, verify if the domain in the address bar is correct.
Never pay anyone for a service like a wallet unlock or exchange issues or listing problems. Use genuine support mechanisms instead of messaging services like telegram and discord.
Do not click on links you can’t identify.
Lastly, I want to add that not just crypto, scams are happening everywhere. I recently received an email with a payment link to pay a pending invoice of 80000 INR. Many months ago I received a package at home and they said it was a cash on delivery of 700 INR and I paid thinking someone from home had ordered something, turns out, no one ordered anything.
Every one of us is a constant target of these scams. So the best way to avoid getting scammed is to be vigilant.
Stay safe and let me know in the comments about any scams you may have noticed.
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