There are tons of ways of getting scammed in crypto. In this article, we'll discuss crypto Telegram scams specifically—the most common method used for scamming as of January 2024.
What is Telegram?
Telegram is a very popular messaging app—a cloud-based, cross-platform instant messaging service.
Creditcoin also has a Telegram group in case you are wondering.
Click here to join: https://t.me/CreditcoinOfficial
With its encrypted, user-friendly, and community-oriented features, Telegram has become a hub for crypto enthusiasts, who use it to communicate and share, keep people updated on news, as well as provide expert analysis and a range of market trends within the crypto space.
Why is Telegram a Popular Choice for Scammers?
Telegram is anonymized by design, allowing users to communicate without revealing their registered phone numbers. Essentially, anyone can create a new profile and start scamming immediately.
- Most Web3 Projects Use it: More than 85% of Web3 projects build their community through Telegram, close to Discord numbers.
- High User Base: Telegram has a vast user base, providing scammers with a large pool of potential victims.
- Anonymity and Privacy Features: Telegram offers strong privacy features, including end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages. This anonymity makes it difficult to track and identify scammers.
- Channels and Groups: Telegram allows users to create large groups and channels. Scammers exploit this by creating groups to disseminate scamming schemes or false information to a large audience quickly.
- No Centralized Control: Unlike some other social media platforms, Telegram doesn't have strict content moderation policies. This allows scammers to operate with less fear of being banned or having their content removed.
- Cross-Platform Accessibility: Telegram's cross-platform nature means scammers can target victims across various devices, increasing their potential reach.
- Bots and Automation: Telegram's support for bots allows scammers to automate their scams, reaching more people with minimal effort.
- Lack of User Awareness: Many users are not fully aware of how to identify scams, making them more susceptible to falling victim to fraudulent schemes on Telegram.
For all the positives, given its popularity within the crypto community, unfortunately, Telegram also attracts unwanted attention from scammers looking to take advantage of community members. And scams are a real problem these days – in 2022 alone crypto hackers stole a whopping 3.8 billion.
That’s why if you’re using Telegram it’s essential to understand any potential scams you may encounter so you’re best equipped to protect yourself against them.
You don't want to start your 2024 New Year New Me with a drained wallet!
Best Example of a Telegram Scam (Delete Immediately!)
#1: Random Promotional DM
If you receive random messages about clicking any links, just ignore them and delete them.
#2: Unknown Group Invitation
If you're in a Telegram group but you don't know how you ended up there, get out of there pronto. Chances are these groups are run phishing bots that are designed to look like real humans talking with each other.
They'll often use the tactic of 'naturally' dropping in links that will tempt you to click them.
These two examples are by far the most common examples of Telegram scams.
Very easy to avoid but we cover more warning signs of the top telegram scams section below.
The Top 8 Most Popular Telegram Scams in 2024
When it comes to keeping your wits about you, here are eight of the most important crypto scams to look out for.
#1: Copycat channels
Telegram copycat scams mimic the appearance and functionality of legitimate messaging groups where people enjoy coming together to discuss topics and issues that are important to them. In these cases though, the Telegram channels or groups are fake, often impersonating official channels, promising exclusive content, giveaways, or investment opportunities.
The end goals are always nefarious. Once users are part of the channels, scammers employ several different tactics like phishing links, fake airdrops, or impersonation of trusted figures to trick users into revealing personal information, private keys, or sending cryptocurrency.
It can be tricky to tell the difference between authentic and fraudulent channels. Always verify the authenticity of any channels you join and exercise healthy caution when it comes to sharing personal information.
#2: Cryptocurrency Giveaway Scams
Cryptocurrency giveaway scams involve exploiting the popularity of cryptocurrency on Telegram to achieve the scammers’ villainous goals. Generally speaking, these scams take place via fake Telegram channels or groups that impersonate well-known figures or projects in the crypto space.
The scammers claim to organize a giveaway where users are promised massive returns if they send only a small amount of cryptocurrency as a participation fee or verify their eligibility. Once users have sent their funds off, though, rather than receive the promised returns, they’re left out of pocket and the scammers simply disappear without a trace.
The promise of a quick buck, combined with the impersonation of reputable entities, can make these scams particularly enticing to unsuspecting individuals.
To avoid falling victim to cryptocurrency giveaway scams, users should exercise caution, verify the legitimacy of the channels, and remember that real giveaways would never require participants to send cryptocurrency upfront.
#3: Pump and Dump Scams
Sadly, pump and dump scams on Telegram are an all-too-common occurrence. These fraudulent schemes are orchestrated within Telegram groups, where members collaborate to artificially inflate the price of a particular cryptocurrency before swiftly selling off their holdings for a profit and riding off into the sunset.
To achieve their goals, organizers typically disseminate false or exaggerated information about a cryptocurrency's potential, hoping to entice members to invest. Once enough people have bought into the particular asset, the organizers push ahead with a coordinated sell-off, causing the price to plummet. Late-joiners then have to shoulder substantial financial losses.
Meanwhile, the orchestrators profit from the manipulated market activity.
Telegram's chat features and ease of forming groups make it an obvious arena for bad actors to enact pump-and-dump schemes, exploiting the lack of regulation and accountability in the cryptocurrency space. Always be wary of participating in groups that promise guaranteed profits through coordinated buying and selling activities.
#4: Phishing scams
Phishing scams on Telegram aim to trick users into giving out sensitive information like usernames, passwords, or financial details. Typically, scammers create fake Telegram login pages or impersonate legitimate accounts or services, luring users to click on malicious links.
Once users enter their credentials on these fraudulent pages, the attackers gain unauthorized access to their accounts.
Phishing scams can take various forms. That could be a message claiming to be from an official support channel, a cryptocurrency giveaway, or even a supposedly urgent security alert. Only click on links you know and trust.
#5: Crypto Expert or Guru Scams
Crypto expert scams on Telegram involve individuals or groups posing as knowledgeable and experienced cryptocurrency experts who offer investment advice or trading signals for a fee. These scammers often create Telegram channels or groups where they claim to provide exclusive insights, promising high returns on investments.
They may showcase fake credentials, fabricated success stories, or misleading charts to create the illusion of authenticity.
Once users have coughed up for these services, chances are they’ll find themselves being sent inaccurate information or, maybe even no information at all.
The scammers pocket the proceeds and may disappear entirely once their deception is revealed. It always pays to be cautious of unsolicited financial advice, conduct thorough research on any individuals or groups making claims of expertise, and retain a healthy skepticism to claims of guaranteed profits in the highly volatile cryptocurrency market.
#6: Fake Alpha or Insider News Screenshots
In crypto, it's fair to say that information is power—some people's success is based on a single alpha that changed their life completely.
Sadly, this is precisely what scammers capitalize on by sharing fake alpha or insider news screenshots with their targeted victims. The victims believe they are receiving 'inside information' or 'alpha'—exclusive insights into upcoming projects, token listings, or market moves, which in reality is just a big pile of baloney.
These alphas or fake leaks are often shared in Telegram groups or channels, with bogus screenshots designed to look authentic, often mimicking the format of popular crypto news sources or insider groups.
These deceptions can lead to users making ill-informed investment decisions, resulting in financial losses.
Remember, reliable insider information is rarely, if ever, shared freely on public platforms. Always cross-verify any sensational news with credible sources before taking action.
#7: Fake Job Listings and Offers
Scammers in Telegram groups are known for posting fake job listings and offers, targeting individuals eager for opportunities in the crypto space. These fraudulent postings often promise lucrative returns for minimal effort, appealing roles in prestigious crypto projects, or opportunities to be paid in cryptocurrency.
Once interested parties respond, scammers may request sensitive personal information, upfront payments for 'training' or 'equipment,' or even ask for crypto payments to 'secure' the position.
The result? Victims are left without a job and potentially out of pocket, with their personal information compromised.
Imagine being jobless and now being crypto-less. Sad^2
To avoid such scams, be skeptical of job offers that seem too good to be true, never pay upfront for a job, and always conduct due diligence on the company and the offer before proceeding.
#8: Love-bait Scams
Love-bait scams are a particularly insidious form of manipulation on Telegram. Here, scammers create fake profiles to form romantic relationships or close friendships. Over time, as trust is built, they introduce the idea of a lucrative crypto investment or a financial crisis that requires urgent cryptocurrency assistance.
These scams play on the emotional vulnerability of individuals, making them more susceptible to financial exploitation. Scammers often create elaborate stories and feign emotional attachments to solicit crypto transfers.
Always be cautious when forming relationships online, especially in crypto-centric platforms because your future lover doesn't need your Bitcoin. If they do, that should be a red flag to you.
Realize that genuine relationships should not revolve around financial transactions, and be wary of sharing personal or financial information with someone you’ve only met online.
How to Protect Yourself Against Telegram Scams
There are a whole host of different measures you can take to protect yourself and your crypto. The best way to protect yourself against scams on Telegram is through a combination of vigilance, skepticism, and proactive measures.
Maintaining a “too-good-to-be-true” attitude, staying informed, and making the best use of the security features available on the Telegram platform are all part and parcel of safeguarding yourself against any potential scams.
Here are the most useful things you can do to protect yourself from Telegram scams:
- Be cautious of unsolicited messages or invitations to join groups promising quick profits, exclusive giveaways, or investment opportunities.
- Verify the legitimacy of the sender or group by checking official websites or social media profiles.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links and never share sensitive information such as passwords or private keys.
- Enable two-factor authentication on your Telegram account for an added layer of security.
- Stay informed about common scam tactics such as phishing attempts and pump-and-dump schemes to help you recognize the red flags.
- Research and verify any individuals or groups claiming to be experts or offering financial advice.
- Report and block suspicious accounts to help protect the community
Don't Let the Scammers Spoil Your Fun
Although it pays to always stay vigilant against scams when using Telegram, that’s not to say there isn’t plenty to enjoy. With many vibrant communities related to the world of cryptocurrency, Telegram is an excellent space to build and share knowledge.
As with all things, operate with a pinch of caution and you can enjoy discovering all that the messaging app has to offer in safety.