Scam alert: The tricks online scammers use during a token sale

Scam alert.jpg

When I was Head of Marketing at Havven, we had more than 127,000 people in our Telegram group. We were endorsed by top crypto influencers such as Ian Balina, and we were an extremely hyped project.

Naturally, we were also a target for many scammers.

Community management is part of a comprehensive marketing strategy to engage and communicate directly with your project’s advocates. A large Telegram group member count is an indication to how the project is supported by the community.

However, where there is a large crowd, there are also scammers who pose as members of the project to extract money from investors. Many of these scammers are part of very well organised global groups who make large sums of money from these elaborate scams. Therefore, they are highly motivated to create fake accounts and sites that looks like the real thing. They are devious, cunning and relentless in their scams, and projects must be at their most vigilant before and during a token sale period.

As such, below are some items to watch out for when managing your community and keeping it safe from online scammers.

Tip one: recognise fake Telegram admins

I learned that I needed to be extremely attentive about checking fake names. Fake Telegram admins would send private messages to other community members asking for BTC and ETH before the public token sale period started. They used very similar looking Telegram names, the same photo, and were often hard to detect at the surface level.

These pretended to be me with very similar user names and photos.

These pretended to be me with very similar user names and photos.

This is a fake account using a very similar Telegram ID (capital “i” instead of “l”) to directly message people in the group, asking for ETH.

This is a fake account using a very similar Telegram ID (capital “i” instead of “l”) to directly message people in the group, asking for ETH.

Tip two: be alert to fake Telegram groups and Google forms

While I was at Havven, other fake Telegram groups and announcement channels calling themselves Havven Coin and Havven ICO popped up, looking like our Telegram group, to get people to join and to broadcast deviant/malicious information. Others were also creating fake Google forms to collect private and personal information such as email and wallet addresses, emailing through scam information afterwards to unsuspecting investors.

This is a fake news channel that had 3,664 members! They forwarded all the news from the real news channel.

This is a fake news channel that had 3,664 members! They forwarded all the news from the real news channel.

This fake token sale page was available two days before the actual token sale date and collected personal data.

This fake token sale page was available two days before the actual token sale date and collected personal data.

Tip three: don’t be fooled by fake websites, blog articles and emails

Yes, fake news is alive and well in crypto-land!

We were subject to fake websites, blog articles and emails that said our ICO was available at a date earlier than our official public token sale date. Phishing attempts are very dangerous because members may join thinking it is the real thing, and ultimately, these scammers will ask members to deposit crypto into the scammer’s account.

A fake URL, but otherwise a complete replica of the original website.

A fake URL, but otherwise a complete replica of the original website.

This fake blog article stated the token sale was live a day before the official launch date.

This fake blog article stated the token sale was live a day before the official launch date.

This fake email asked for ETH and BCT payment.

This fake email asked for ETH and BCT payment.

Remember…

When running a token sale, you need to be extremely vigilant. Aim to protect your investors and the community at every opportunity. With audiences investing in your project from around the world, you will need a strong community management team managing your Telegram channels 24/7 and constantly deleting and banning scammers who are always lurking. Read my next blog to learn the Three Top Tips To Overcome Scammers Online: Before, During and After Your Token Sale.

About Forestlyn

Forestlyn is a technology and blockchain marketing consultancy delivering business strategy, communication and digital solutions. We work in partnership with founders and organisations to better understand your business and provide guidance, strategic planning, and execution of all marketing services and requirements. Forestlyn is a trusted and collaborative marketing partner driving your business forward. For more information: www.forestlyn.com