There are several tell-tale signs of an ETH scam. One of the most common is a fake support team. These scammers will pose as support staff and send private messages with false promises. Typically, they will trick victims into revealing their private keys or transferring funds. This can happen through any chat application.
Fraudsters impersonate government agencies
One common type of ETH scam involves fraudulent government impersonation. Scammers impersonate the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or other government agencies, and then ask for personal information or money. If the recipient questions their actions, the scammer will get aggressive, demanding money and personal information.
A typical government impersonation scam involves criminals contacting people who have won a sweepstakes or lottery. The criminals will claim to be from the National Sweepstakes Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit. They’ll ask you to wire them money to claim your prize. Unfortunately, there is no winning in this scam.
Another common ETH scam involves fraudulent government websites impersonating the CDC or FEMA. The fake government website includes an official logo on the home page and a login form for “top participating institutions”. The victims will then be directed to a fake banking website, where they will be asked to input their banking information. As soon as they input their personal information, the scammer will steal their personal banking information and use it for fraudulent purposes.
There are some obvious signs of an ETH scam. If a company is asking you to send ETH via a wire transfer or credit card, that is probably a red flag. In addition, if a company tells you they will only accept cryptocurrency, that is likely a scam. Most legitimate institutions will accept other forms of payment, such as U.S. dollars, debit cards, checks, and cash.
Often, the scam begins with an unsolicited call from a bogus utility company employee who threatens to shut off your power if you don’t make a payment right away. But if you’re familiar with how to pay your bills, you can usually resolve the problem yourself.
Cryptocurrency scammers often use the endorsements of famous people to lure users into pump-and-dump schemes. These scams pay influential individuals to promote tokens that skyrocket in value only to plunge in value once their developers cash out. One example of this is Kim Kardashian’s recent promotion of EthereumMax. The reality star asked her 200 million followers on Instagram if they were interested in crypto, and then encouraged them to “join the EthereumMax community.” The post even included a tiny #ad, marking it as a paid promotion.
Other signs of an ETH scam are the presence of Internet celebrities, who may encourage victims to make speculative investments. For example, some celebrities endorsed initial coin offerings, which were largely worthless after the crypto market crash in January 2018. The rise of celebrity-endorsed crypto scams has led to a rise in the volume of fraudulent cases by a quarter.
Some scammers create fake accounts impersonating Internet celebrities. Using their celebrity name and photo, they make it appear as though they are actually the celebrity. They often use spelling mistakes and addendums to disguise their identity. Some even contact fans on their accounts, asking them to send money or provide sensitive information. These scammers may also share malicious links.