Crypto Scammers on Social Media Have Become Smarter

Crypto Scammers on Social Media Have Become Smarter

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Author: Robert Strickland (crypto-journalist)
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Crypto Scammers on Social Media Have Become Smarter. How Not to Fall for Their Tricks

Identified Popular Cryptocurrency Scam Schemes on Social Media


 

 

We describe the most common cryptocurrency scam scenarios and how to recognize the deception.

 

Crypto scammers use a variety of schemes to deceive users. The most common ones were described by the Director of Investigations at the "Shard" company.

Social media has long been one of the favorite platforms for crypto scammers. Scammer ads and offers for investment projects and cryptocurrency trading regularly appear in personal messages (if the account owner hasn’t closed “DMs” to external users) and in comments under posts. Here, scammers can engage in lengthy conversations with potential victims, gradually gaining their trust. This kind of activity can be found on platforms like Telegram , as well as on international platforms such as LinkedIn or X (formerly Twitter).

  • How Crypto Scammers Operate on Social Media

Scammers are incredibly inventive when it comes to luring users into a trap or getting them to share personal information. Each cryptocurrency scam scheme is based on psychological pressure. After getting acquainted with a potential victim, the scammers gradually instill confidence in the proposed earnings scheme, showcasing their own success.

Here are the most common cryptocurrency scam schemes encountered on social media:

  • Blackmail and Extortion

Scammers inform the victim that they possess some personal information that could harm the person's reputation, such as compromising photos or videos. They threaten to expose this information unless the victim agrees to send them a cryptocurrency transfer.

  •  “Business Opportunity” Scams

Typically, this scheme involves scammers offering a guaranteed income. The victim needs only to transfer some cryptocurrency, which will allegedly double or even triple within a few hours. The logic here is simple—people are caught by the desire to get rich quickly. The result is always the same—the scammer takes the cryptocurrency and disappears.

  • Fake Job Offers

In this scenario, scammers create fake job listings or send job offers to victims in their “DMs”. Usually, such “jobs” involve cryptocurrency mining or recruiting other crypto investors.

In any case, the scheme involves one common condition—to start working, you need to make a payment in cryptocurrency. The scammer might even offer to handle the transfer if the victim sends them funds to a crypto wallet.

  • Investment Scams

One of the most popular schemes where social media users are invited to get a crypto wallet or buy crypto through a chat-bot. Then, scammers give access to a closed group where you need to invite acquaintances. In this group, there are usually posts from users who have successfully “earned” through the investment scheme. It ultimately forms a classic Ponzi scheme, with profits going only to the organizers.

 

Many projects invite users to invest their funds, claiming that project owners will trade them on a crypto exchange. At first glance, nothing seems suspicious. There’s a popular and well-promoted channel, and the posts are filled with positive reviews.

The conditions are simple: you need to send money to a card so experienced traders can buy cryptocurrency and launch it on the exchange. Scammers assure that users will receive at least a 10- or 20-fold increase in their deposit. The initial step, for example, is 2,000 rubles. Traders allegedly insure the deposits but charge 10% of the profit for their services.

A trusting user sends the money and soon faces an unpleasant surprise. The guarantor of the deal demands payment before the end of the trade. Additionally, 20% must be handed over to the trader. As a result, the user loses their initial funds and overpays by at least 30%.

This is just one example of thousands of similar projects that continuously appear online.

  • Trading Training

Users are offered courses on financial literacy and trading. Usually, users are lured through ads in groups and personal messages promising easy earnings. It is suggested to invest in a cryptocurrency platform and undergo quick training to get rich. The outcome of such stories is always the same—the person loses their money.

  • Insider Information

In this case, crypto scammers approach users subscribed to trading groups. The scammers claim that a particular coin will soon rise in price. To profit, you only need to buy tokens through a link or wallet, which turns out to be fake.

  • Rug Pull

A Rug Pull is a common scam where project participants collect capital or cryptocurrency from investors to finance a project and then suddenly disappear. As a result, investors lose everything they invested.

For example, the user NoHandsNoRug created the meme token HANDS during a stream on their website. They attracted users, assured them of the investment’s liquidity, then sold the token at its peak price. Other users couldn’t sell their tokens as quickly, the token’s value plummeted, and investors lost their funds.

  • Romantic Scams

One popular method of deception involves online dating for romantic relationships, which end in investment schemes. Scammers casually introduce themselves to victims and start conversations. Initially, the interaction doesn’t raise suspicions: the parties exchange photos and share life stories.

At some point, when the connection is established, the victim is offered to invest funds. It’s claimed that this will take the relationship to a new level: “We will make a lot of money together and live happily.” Scammers use various psychological techniques, fostering dependency and applying manipulative tactics, sometimes even pressure. The goal is always the same—the victim must invest a large sum of money.

The communication can continue for several months. During this time, the scammer tries to frame the interaction in such a way that the victim feels guilty, allegedly for not gathering the necessary amount in time and letting down the “partner.”

  • Joint Investing

This scenario continues the theme of investing. The scammer pretends to invest in a project alongside the victim, only to later claim that they lost their funds, much more than the scammed user. Naturally, there is no talk of returning any money.How to Recognize Crypto Scams

Here are some signs that can help you understand what you’re dealing with:

1. Promises of guaranteed returns on investments and easy money.
2. Lack of a technical document (whitepaper) describing the coin or token’s mechanics, functions, and characteristics during an initial cryptocurrency offering.
3. Aggressive and persistent marketing promoting the cryptocurrency offer.
4. Inability to identify who manages the offered cryptocurrency.
5. Requests for payments for something, such as a fee for assistance in obtaining cryptocurrency.

 

To avoid such situations, follow these simple but reliable recommendations:

- Analyze the account of the person you are communicating with. It may look suspicious, using someone else’s photos or showing recent activity. If you join a group or channel on social media, examine the accounts of its members. They may be fake.
- Investigate the offer. If you are promised quick and large profits, you are likely being deceived. Scammers often rush the decision-making process, claiming that time is limited. If you are unsure about the offer, search for information about it or discuss it with close ones and ask for their opinion.
- Never share your personal data with third parties, especially keys and passwords for exchange accounts or crypto wallets. No legitimate service will request them under any circumstances.

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