In the second week of January this year, Telegram announced its ICO. This news was picked up by Techcrunch, after which we saw major publications talking about it.
It attracted top-tier institutional investment firms. And it also attracted scammers. And these scammers have found creative ways to steal your money.
And in this post, we uncover this creativity. We share with you scams around the Telegram ICO for your awareness, so you know what to avoid now and in the future:
Scam #1: Fake Token Sales
At the time of the private pre-sale of the Telegram Open Network (TON), the CEO of Telegram raised $850 million. This was when we saw phishing websites like Gramtoken.io appearing online.
There was an ongoing pre-ICO on this website:
Plus, the phishing website used the original Telegram whitepaper, which attracted hundreds and thousands of investors. Over $5 million worth of Ethereums were transferred to the scammer’s address.
Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, confirmed this as a scam.
Sites similar Gramtoken should be avoided. Other scam sites such as ton-gramico.io and grempreico.com have appeared and disappeared.
Source: Finance Magnates
Scam #2: Someone Plagiarized Telegram ICO
Telegram’s ICO project name — Telegram Open Network — was registered in the UK under the name of Pavel Durov. It happened in the month of Feb and Pavel Durov was mentioned as the company’s sole shareholder, director and secretary.
Clearly, there was a strategy behind this. Before the scam could unfold, the official Telegram account exposed confirmed it was fake:
Scam #3: Pavel Giving Away Free Cryptocurrencies
This one is common.
And you will see it even today.
Scammers giveaway cryptocurrencies if you fill a form, or send Ethereum to a certain address. It is a fake promise. In Telegram’s case, someone impersonated Pavel, and announced a fake promotion to giveaway Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Check out the image below. If you notice the username, you can spot the scammer:
What is interesting is the verified symbol. Apparenty, the scammers hijacked a verified Twitter account of a musical band. Then they changed the account’s name, photo, and description to make it look like the official Pavel’s account.
Telegram ICO scams appear and disappear all the time. And if you have been in the crypto industry for a long time, you already know about these scams.
You have seen forms of them. And you ignore them most of the time.
But there are newbies out there — people who have just joined the crypto revolution — falling for these scams. They are investors. And they are gullible.
Scammers target them.
Our task is to make them — and everyone else — aware of these scams. Let us know if you know any other scam we missed, and we will be glad to add them to the list.