A new type of scam has developed and emerged in the last month. Scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated and penetrate each wallet to plant a seed to deceive every wallet owner and potentially trick users into sending money away. How has such a new scam has implemented, and how can we avoid such a new scam?
Here is a 1 min summary of the article if you want to skip the reading.
If you play around with your wallet in different networks, you will realize many unknown tokens with xxxx.io in the Polygon network. You cannot resist but realize more than 800k tokens are sitting in your wallet and waiting for you to exchange them for fiat currencies. Some wallets even calculate the worth of more than $200K! You are so surprised yet so lucky that you finally made it and want to cash out.
Swap The Unknown
After doing some research about the token, a cool-looking website seems legit. A button asks you to connect your wallet to claim airdrop tokens. You then, without any consideration, connect the wallet, and they ask permission to enter your wallet. Of course, you want to have your $200K cash out immediately; you then agree to connect and start swapping tokens. There is a network fee of 2 ETH or $9K cost. You, of course, think they $9K to exchange $200K, hey! No brainer. Once you transfer the fee and agree to swap, something happens! Your wallet may empty the fund, and a network error occurred that your swap cannot be completed, but the fund you spent was gone. You then realized you got a scam!
A Combo of Airdrop + Dust Attack + Phishing Scam
This type of scam is pretty sophisticated. It is a combination of different scam types to trick users. Here is how you likely got unknown tokens from and how scammers want you to follow their steps to send funds to them.
Step 1: Free Airdrops
Scammers are well-known users eager and FOMO. So they created the airdrops site to collect wallet addresses or scan all available wallet addresses online and send tokens into wallets.
Why: the more people with fake tokens, the more likely one will fall with the tricks. Scammers use an active way to push tokens into wallets or passive to collect wallets and send tokens.
Step 2: Given a Large Number of Fake Tokens
You will realize you have at least 800k or more tokens in your wallet. Large amounts make people look into the possible way to activate such tokens. However, those amounts are just fractions of what scammers made.
Why: it is part of a dust attack. You realize those scam tokens are layer 2 tokens on Matic or Polygon network because layer 1 or blockchain has dust attack prevention. Tiny fractions of amount transactions cannot be validated through layer 1 but it is easily get passed through layer 2
as there is no lower limit of the transaction amount in layer 2. Scammers can mint as many tokens and send as small amounts to users.
Step 3: Active Tokens
Those scam tokens are smart contracts. The bad thing about smart contracts is they can be harder to detect as routine transactions and broadcast on the blockchain like regular token transactions. The good thing is that a smart contract needs a destination to send to and commands for execution. Scammers want users to go through layer 2 swap to complete the transaction.
Why: layer 2 smart contracts can be challenging to distinguish between entice token transactions or swaps. Also, swap can create an unsuspected way to require swap fees and embed secret codes to control your wallet and send funds to programmed addresses.
Step 4: Requires Swap Fees
You will bring to an unknown and a new swap platform that requires you to spend a little bit of money to activate your funds.
Why: the swap platform will have embedded codes to transfer swap fees as payment to scammers’ wallet addresses and possible active send command to take your wallet funds away.
Step 5: Broadcast Error
Likely, your swap will broadcast as an error in the polygon network and your funds will be stuck because the smart contract cannot be executed entirely in the network due to insufficient gas fees.
Why: those swap fees will directly be programmed to send into scammers’ wallets, and no transactions will be completed on the blockchain without sufficient funds. You got scammed!
What To Do
Since those fake tokens were smart contracts, they were required to be active. The best way is DO NOTHING to those tokens. Ignore them completely. Don’t send or swap or trade. Some wallets like Metamask can delete the token list. Coinbase wallet will not detect tokens value but only show the amount. If the wallet mistakenly showed the wrong amount. Tried to reach out to their services and ask for help. However, because the tokens were so new and they were smart contracts. It is unlikely the wallet service can do anything about it at this point.
Also check out my article: Dogecoin Is Back In The Top 10 But The Moon Shot Is Looming
How To Avoid Scam Tokens
Check Blockchain Token Contract
Go to Etherscan or alike to check the token contract. There is a lot of information that can spot a scam token.
Step 1: Check Holders and Transfers
Check how many transactions are within the network, the closer the transfers to holders, the more likely people are not active in the network due to the token unavailable in many exchanges.
Step 2: Check Transfers Tap
Check transaction hash and particular in age. See if any transactions are in and out but no single out direction. Also, try to see the last page and check age. It seems there is only outflow to each account with the same quantity of 800K for each transaction which raises a huge flag.
Step 3: Check Holders Tap
Check how many people hold tokens. The scam token is very concentrated in single or few users. It will immediately raise a red flag.
Step 4: Check Contract Tap
The legit project will reveal contract code while scams will not. No information on the contract will raise questions on the credibility and authenticity of the token.
Step 5: Check Analytics Tap
If there is only a send transaction but not receive transaction, it is likely a scam.
Step 6: Check Comments Tap
Other users may share information about this token and let people know if that is a scam token.
Crypto scams have become more sophisticated than ever. Always double-check anything suspicious and unknown to you. Ask around and seek help because click and send funds. Once you send, there is no way the transaction can be reversed.
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First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Hovers Near $17.3K, but Does It Have Staying Power?
Reddit NFT mints reach all-time high, EU’s $400K Metaverse party flops and more
Reddit’ NFT minting hits new high
Reddit’s nonfungible token (NFT) collection hit another milestone on Dec. 3 with a record 255,000 of its “avatars” minted in the one day.
The new minting record beat the previous all-time highs on Aug. 30 and 31, which saw just over 200,000 Reddit avatars minted each day.
The NFTs are primarily used on the social media platform as a users’ avatar and are created by a number of independent artists that use the platform.
At the time of the collection’s launch in July, it was widely seen as a way to boost mainstream adoption of blockchain technology as Reddit shied away from using crypto for purchases of the avatars and chose to call them digital “collectibles” instead of NFTs.
With the record mint day, Reddit’s Polygon (MATIC)-based NFTs now boast around 4.4 million in circulation, according to data from Dune Analytics.
However, despite the amounts minted, Dune data shows just over 40,000 Reddit avatar NFTs have been sold since their launch, and there are around 3.7 million holders of avatars indicating that most choose to hold onto their NFT.
The sales volume of the collectibles recently hit an all-time high of $2.5 million on Oct. 24 across 1,991 buyers.
Some of the rarer Reddit NFTs have seen premium prices on secondary NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea with some of the most expensive selling for over $300, while the platform’s own marketplace sees prices of around $50.
EU went all out on a Metaverse party, barely anyone came
The European Union’s (EU’s) foreign aid department is understood to have dished out nearly $408,000 (€387,000) on a metaverse and hosted a party on Nov. 29 to celebrate, but only six people reportedly turned up.
Devex reporter Vince Chadwick tweeted a video on Nov. 29 showing his metaverse avatar attending the “gala” and said “after initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone.”
I’m here at the “gala” concert in the EU foreign aid dept’s €387k metaverse (designed to attract non politically engaged 18-35 year olds — see story below). After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone. https://t.co/ChIHeXasQP pic.twitter.com/kZWIVlKmhL
— Vince Chadwick (@vchadw) November 29, 2022
“Is anybody out there?” reads one of the messages on the screen in the video. “The concert is just the same DJ spinning the same music,” another message says.
The EU-crafted metaverse was made to promote it’s “Global Gateway” initiative that aims to develop and build infrastructure in developing nations.
The metaverse, seemingly also named “Global Gateway”, was quietly launched in mid-October with a “depressing and embarrassing” promotional video according to an anonymous EU foreign aid department staff member that spoke to Devex.
Discover the new #GlobalGateway digital platform – https://t.co/DHAdsfwbA1
— EU International Partnerships (@EU_Partnerships) October 13, 2022
According to an EU spokesperson the target audience for its metaverse is 18 to 35 year olds “who identify as neutral about the EU and are not particularly engaged in political issues,” and the promo video was “to intrigue that audience, primarily on TikTok and Instagram” and encourage them to engage with the campaign.
TimeX ‘Goes Ape’ with the BAYC
Watch manufacturer TimeX said on Dec. 1 it’s partnered with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFT projects to create custom watches.
TimeX is creating 500 physical watches and matching “twin NFTs” that will allow Bored and Mutant Ape holders to customize a watch including its case, strap and etchings while, of course, featuring the owners’ NFT on the watch face.
We’re going bananas over the launch of our first customizable physical, digital and phygital timepiece in partnership with @CryptoVonDoom, @beijingdou, @Zeneca_33 @JulianGilliam, @TheMiamiApe, @TheeHustleHouse, @daz3d @Metabrands_pro and the @BoredApeYC community.
A Thread pic.twitter.com/sL2YPyNnwf
— Timex (@timex) December 1, 2022
The watches will be gated behind an NFT at the cost of 2 Ether (ETH), or around $2,500, with BAYC and MAYC holders then able to use the NFT to create a watch from mid-December that will ship in in the second quarter of 2023.
NFT sales increase for first time in 7 months
U.S. dollar-denominated NFT sales have managed to jump 16% in the month of November, bucking more than seven months of decline, according to data from Cryptoslam.
In November, NFT sales amounted to $534 million, up from October’s nearly $460.4 million.
It was the first month since April that NFT sales increased, January saw record NFT sales totaling $4.7 billion, while October was the slowest sales month in 2022.
Related: How NFT court summons could change the legal landscape
The increase in November is likely due to high-priced NFT sales, such as two BAYC NFTs that sold for close to $1 million each on Nov. 23 and 24.
Cryptoslam data shows over the past 30 days the top three NFT collections were BAYC, MAYC and Otherdeeds — all Yuga Labs-owned projects. The top BAYC collection has seen 30-day sales increase by 89.5% indicating that high-priced NFT sales could have driven November sales up.
Meanwhile, total transaction volume between October and November saw a 17.6% decrease.
More Nifty News
Internet browser Opera has created an NFT minting tool that allows users the ability to drag and drop media files into its application which will turn those files into NFTs by writing a smart contract and uploading them to a blockchain.
Coinbase has slammed Apple over the firm blocking the latest release of its crypto wallet app. Coinbase says Apple wanted it to disable NFT transactions until it could “collect 30% of the gas fee,” something Coinbase says is “clearly not possible” as Apple’s system “does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried.”
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