The recent wave of crypto scams have come to use social media as the preferred medium to proliferate. Targeting innocent crypto users, scammers have begun taking Twitter handles to impersonate developers, even asking users for donations and funds, thousands has been stolen from unsuspecting users. With a number of legitimate crypt developers such as Charlie Lee and Vitalik Buterin having their identities stolen, thousands of dollars has been scammed so far.
Even the Ripple CEO fell victim as his impersonators attempted to entice users to send tokens in exchange for a 1 million XRP donation. Another impersonator aimed to make use of the popularity behind XRP by promising to donate 100000 tokens to the community. However the catch being people had to send 100XRP to them first.
The scale of thefts is yet to be estimated due to the sheer number of fake accounts but on one occasion, a Charlie Lee impersonator netted 11.5 Litecoin within a matter of a week pretending to donate 4 Litecoin to users.
There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from the recent wave of social media scams. With a increasing number of users and developers using the likes of Twitter, the recent crime wave has been hugely profitable for a number of criminals.
1) Initially check to see if the Twitter handle or social media profile corresponds with those liked on the projects official website. Ideally, you should only trust the links placed on the official website as only these will direct you to the real profile of the developer.
2) if you are a developer, or crypto business owner you to can take simple steps to protect your brand./profile from being copied in social media. Simply deferring all payments for transactions or even any transfer of asset to official channels, eg. your official website or integrated payment processors such as PayPal, instead of social media. This will offer a added layer of protection for your own consumers
Finally, any developers or promoters of crypto asking for payments upfront is to be treated extremely cautiously. As a general rule of thumb those looking to collect funds from you with the promise of exceptional returns are not to be trusted. Similar to the Ponzi scheme MMM which collapsed in 2016, many Nigerians are falling prey to these disguised thefts.