Crypto scams are not a new phenomenon. As with anything involving money, there’s always someone trying to scam you, even in the digital currency world. A recent workshop conducted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission revealed that consumers lost around $542 million in crypto-related fraud. And this was just in the first two months of this year! So, you can imagine the magnitude of the situation that the cryptocurrency world is facing right now!
Recently, India’s crime branch unearthed a crypto scam in Mumbai, India. The Ponzi scheme had been operating in India for over 2 years under the guise of a real estate firm. According to Andrew Smith, cryptocurrency-related scams could loot up to $3 billion, by the end of 2018. Andrew Smith is the director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
You’ll find a lot of these scammers operating on Twitter. Most of them comment about cryptocurrency giveaways or airdrops. And these comments can be found right under posts by verified users or companies like Huobi Pro, Justin Sun etc. And these scammers employ the same usernames and images as these crypto celebrities. Thus deceiving unsuspecting crypto investors.
The latest celebrity that a scammer has impersonated is William Shatner. William Shatner took to Twitter to alert people to the Ponzi scheme. The fake William Shatner’s profile shows that the scammer has been active since 20th June 2018. He has posted publicizing a website, etherpromotion.org, which apparently is giving away 10,000 ETH. The website says interested crypto enthusiasts just need to send between 0.5 and 20 ETH, for address verification purposes.
Both the website and the scammer’s tweets promise that people will receive 10 times the ETH which was sent initially. Both, Shatner and several of his followers have flagged the impostor’s account. The account, like most of these Ponzi schemes, has both Shatner’s name and Twitter profile picture. The micro-blogging site hasn’t taken down the profile, despite the celebrity and his fans flagging it. Moreover, the website is still live as well.
But how do you spot these frauds?
The fraudsters on Twitter mostly can be spotted from their Twitter handles. While the username can be the celebrity’s or company’s, they cannot have the same one as their Twitter handle. Well, this is for the most part, because scammer could make it as close to the celebrity’s name as possible.
For example, in William Shatner’s case, the impostor’s Twitter handle was a randomly generated one, @cfpfYzzu2QxOVIs. But, in certain cases, the scammer takes pains to ensure that their handles resemble the real account as closely as possible! Like @Eilon_Musk, @Alon_Musk, @ElonMuski, @Elonn_Musk and @EloonMusk have been used to impersonate Elon Musk!
Here’s a tweet from the founder of Tron, Justin Sun,
And just under this tweet is a comment from a scammer,
This scammer has got a Twitter handle that’s quite similar to Justin Sun’s. So, pay attention and spot the scammers before they scam you off your crypto coins!
Image via CCN
Join our Telegram group