Ethereum “Giveaway” Scammers Have Tricked People Out of $4.3 Million
The EtherScamDB website was created by the team behind the MyCrypto wallet service for the purpose of tracking various types of online scams centering around the Ethereum platform and associated cryptocurrencies and assets. For the past few months, the website has been inventorying various types of Ethereum scams, such as classic phishing sites that imitate legitimate apps and wallets, trust-trading sites that push inaccurate advice or recommendations, but also online giveaways scams that promise to multiply Ether funds if victims transfer crooks a small sum of money. The latter category has recently become rampant on Twitter, and on a daily basis, the social network’s most popular tweets are often inundated by these ‘Ether giveaway’ scams.
More precisely, this particular trend caught fire with crooks this past February after Bleeping Computer first reported that one particular scammer made $5,000 in one night just by posing as Elon Musk, John McAfee, and a few other celebrities on Twitter. Soon after our report, scams of these types started to flood Twitter left and right, with crooks registering Twitter accounts with names similar to legitimate ones, and then posting misleading messages, asking users to donate funds to an Ethereum address to receive a multiplied sum as part of a limited offer giveaway. Since then, these types of scams have grown exponentially, and crooks have resorted to imitating not just the Twitter accounts of official cryptocurrency services (exchanges, wallets apps, ICOs, mining pools, etc.) and celebrities, but also lesser known personalities like journalists, academics, and security researchers.