How to Protect Yourself Against Cryptocurrency, ICO Fraud
A booming topic such as cryptocurrencies and ICOs attracts not only many newbies but also lots of scam artists who want to cheat participants. We sadly witnessed this through our ICO, so we chose to show where the main traps are hiding — and how you can protect yourself.
- Telegram / Email
Just about all companies that do an ICO have established Telegram classes, which can be an important information medium to get a token sale. There you may communicate with employees of the company (they are the admins of the Telegram group, and it is clearly indicated next to their name with the label «admin») or chat with other token buyers. Access to these groups isn't filtered. Scammers masquerade as admins and contact you via personal message (PM) to send you their own wallet speech with a request to send the cash or coins for the token there. For instance, they claim that the official wallet is down or that there's a special bonus if you use this wallet. They also ask you for your email address to send you fake emails later on, with the identical type of requests/fake opportunities.
What you should do: Use only the official pocket of the company to pay. These can always be found on the site of the company. There are usually no other wallets and there is also no bonus for using special wallets.
Be careful with email requests, even if they appear to come from a company's email address. Never send your email address on Telegram in a PM, unless you are sure you are using an official admin contact. You may recognize real administrators by the addition «admin» next to the name. This addition is only visible in the group but not in a personal chat. You can only make certain you're writing with a real admin when YOU contacted him (by clicking on their name in the group chat itself right). Scammers use the profile photo of admins, the same display name and a similar username (as an example, with a capital «I» rather than a little «L»).
Sometimes entire channels or groups on Telegram are faked. Do not be duped by these fake channels! There is only one official Telegram group for each ICO. These real addresses are found on the website of the ICO.
- Google / Facebook / Website
Scammers spare no effort: Some place paid ads on Google and Facebook, where they announce a real, continuing ICO. However, these advertisements link to fake websites, most of which you may see in the endings of the links (.In, .pw, .id, etc.). If you purchase something, your cash is most likely lost, and if you even just log in, your password will be used to log in to the true ICO website and change the wallet address you want your tokens minted to.
What you can do: Pay close attention to what the actual site of the ICO you need to take part in is. The majority of the time, it's a site with a .com ending — check for the https — that is the signal for a secure connection.
There are still some other scams. If you are not sure, ask an admin of the business in the Telegram group. Be careful when identifying the provider's real contacts, real stations and real websites. That's the basis to participate safely in an ICO.