When I was new to crypto, I made it a point to list down all the dodgy people who approached me online and tried to bait me into a scam. I posted my list a few months ago and a lot of other people chimed in with even more scams since then.
Here’s the updated list:
1. The Youtube/Facebook “live” stream
Scammers download an old online event from a reputable company (ex: Apple) or an interview with a respected crypto personality (ex: Vitalik, Charles, and other cyrpto founders). They stream this on Youtube or Facebook with their own overlay text or graphics, and pretend it’s an official or new event that’s happening right now.
But it’s a honeypot where they use the live chat to get victims from the people who are watching. They use the legitimacy and star power of the content they’re streaming to lure you in one of the scams in this list because surely Apple wouldn’t scam you right?
How to avoid: Official events are announced in official channels, and not by a Facebook page called ‘Cryptophiles Futures Advice & Investments Society”.
2. Try my strategy platform bro, it’s made me $40,000 DOLLARS already this month
If you post or comment on any crypto subreddit, you will 100% get messages in your inbox.
Some of them will even be from people who are so kind that they want to help a crypto newbie like yourself by letting you in on their strategy, trading platform, or exchange. And it’s free!
Best case scenario is any coins or tokens you buy will be theirs for the taking and won’t be withdrawable. What usually happens is they get your credit card info when you sign up.
How to avoid: Don’t talk to strangers online.
3. Oops I accidentally sent you my wallet’s seedphrase please don’t transfer my coins into your wallet
This one is really funny because it preys on people who want to take advantage of others.
Someone will “accidentally” reveal the phrase to their wallet that actually contains real Eth and other crypto in it. Opportunists looking for a quick buck will access the wallet, but to send it to their own wallet they need to send Eth to it first to pay for gas transfer fees.
Surprise! You just donated your Eth to a scammer because they have a bot that automatically seizes any Eth it receives.
How to avoid: Don’t be an asshole.
4. This is official Binance/Kraken/Crypto.com helpdesk representative. You need help?
When I was new, I asked your usual questions like how to trade, what are the recommended wallets, and how do I stake.
Immediately after, I had these assholes send me grammatically painful private messages, giving generic advice and pretending to be from Binance or whatever.
Since I don’t have a wallet yet, they pushed me to open one on their website. It actually doesn’t look like a scam site, but of course they’re fake copies of legitimate wallets.
Once you transfer money to this wallet, they’ll rob you blind.
5. “You need to connect your wallet to the dapps token interface”
That’s an actual message my friend received after asking a question on a reputable and rising 3-letter blockchain’s subreddit.
They tried to confuse her with big words like that, then gave instructions to “help” her sort everything out. Eventually, it just led to them asking for her seed phrase to “troubleshoot”.
6. Limited time event! Send our company 1 ETH and we’ll send you 2 ETH back.
I saw this first on Twitter, but they’ve expanded to Reddit DMs now.
Spoiler alert: they won’t send you ETH back.
7. My investments had an amazing month and want to share my blessings. Here’s some free random coins!
This is either a dusting attack or they just wanted to steal my coins straight.
How it works is, if you try to transfer, sell, or convert them you’ll find that you need to visit a specific swap site and give permission for them to access your wallet.
By access I mean steal the contents. Don’t touch them.
Vitalik is the only selfless angel in crypto and he’s not in your DMs.
8. Search for [Wallet Name/Website Name] on Google
These asshats start by giving good and accurate info about crypto. I actually learned a lot from them.
However, they tell me to Google the name of a real wallet or exchange to use instead of giving the actual site.
This is because they bought an ad so that their copycat site shows up at the top of search results, above the actual legitimate wallet or website. If I downloaded the app or wallet on their site, then they would’ve gotten access to my coins.
Only download apps and wallets from official websites.
There are multiple scams that thrive in Reddit. They specifically target newcomers who ask for crypto help or advice in comments/posts.