SAFETY AND SCAM AWARENESS
Welcome, this is a continuation from the dummies guide moving from the ITN to Cardano mainnet. Click here to read.
Fraud and Scams are all over the world in every industry, Crypto is no different. In fact, simply because crypto is all online it is so much easier to target a massive amount of people. There is no insurance for your crypto assets and only you as an individual are responsible for them; therefore I can’t stress the importance of being aware of scams.
Cardano has a brilliant and friendly community spread across many social platforms, including Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Cardano Forum and more.
Types of known scams:
Criminals attempt to defraud you and steal your assets in many ways, these include:
Creating online accounts which impersonate Cardano Officials, Core-members including Ambassadors or Cardano Support Accounts
Criminals will use these accounts to approach community members to check everything is ok and offer assistance. This assistance very quickly turns malicious, the criminal may request you send money or crypto assets somewhere in order for something to work; they may even ask for your seed words.
Or they will direct you to a fraudulent website which is almost an identical copy of an official website, or uses an official websites design. This website will then ask for your personal information including your seed words for a wallet.
Cardano Channels claiming to be official
Criminals will create Cardano channels, usually in Telegram, but other social platforms are vulnerable. These channels will be used to invite people in and advertise a fraudulent scheme. Usually this is done by taking legitimate information and links and adding in something malicious in an attempt to scam people.
For example, they may take some content from official websites and mix in something malicious like a competition / give away in an attempt to catch you off guard. The competition will usually involve you sending some assets somewhere with the promise of receiving a much larger amount back. – Send 5k ada to this address and receive 50k ada back.
Malicious websites / emails
I have mentioned websites above, however I feel this deserves its own sub section. Criminals are constantly creating new websites, to look identical or similar to official websites, they usually use google documents, or a website with a similar domain to the official website.
These websites will ask for your seed phrase, personal details including email address, or ask you to send ada to an address. It has been noted that some criminals have even gone to the effort of creating malicious wallet downloads, which look real but are simply created to steal your assets.
Criminals will use your email address to send you emails which look genuine from IOHK or Cardano – however they will contain malicious links and are an attempt to defraud you.
How to be aware and avoid scams
Within the Crypto Space, it is important to remember, only you are responsible for your assets. Your seed words are the most private and important things you need to keep safe. If you give anyone your seed words, they will have unconditional control of your assets, before you realise what has happened your funds will be moved into another wallet, never to be seen again.
Very important to be aware of:
Identity theft / Fraud
Officials from Cardano will never contact you in private to check up on you or see how you are getting on and offer assistance. If anyone contacts you via a private message, delete and block them straight away. No matter how legit they seem or look, they are criminals who have stolen the identity of the official in order to steal your assets. If you ever want to talk to an official in private, it is best to ask in the public channels, wait for a response. Check they have an official tag / flair that only admins can have and then private message them first. However most conversation should happen in public.
There are no ‘Cardano Support’ accounts. If a ‘Cardano Support’ or ‘Cardano’ account contacts you, report, block and delete. There are no Cardano support accounts! SCAM!
Giveaways / competitions
There are NEVER giveaways. Cardano does not give away ada. If there are official accounts claiming to be giving away ada, it is a scam. Occasionally community members are known to run competitions, however you should never have to send ada or any asset and certainly never write your seed words anywhere.
NEVER put your seed words into a website! Your seed words are the most valuable thing you own in Crypto. If anyone else has them, you will lose your assets. There is no reason at all to use your seed words for anything except in an official wallet when you intend to restore your funds. Using seed words for anything else or putting them into any website is a scam and the second you write those seed words down, someone will be restoring your wallet and stealing all your assets.
If you become a victim to fraud or scam I strongly recommend you report it to your local law enforcement agency. I cannot speak for all countries, I am in the UK and these scammers are committing criminal offences; it should not be ignored, they should not be allowed to get away with it.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to make contact via any of our social platforms.