Summary of the article: Don’t click on anything. We will never send you the crowdsale contribution address via email, Slack, Reddit or social media - always come to our website and double-check any information to stay safe.
Crowdsales have become one of the favorite targets for digital criminals in the recent months.
On one side there are crowdsale scams projects. And then there are phishing and other ways that criminals attack honest projects collecting funds through crowdsales.
If you want to invest into a Cofound.it supported project, do not worry about scam projects - we do all the required due diligence steps to make sure the projects are not scams.
So how can an investor make sure that digital criminals won't attack him or her during the crowdsale? These are the most common ways that criminal acts happen in the world of crowdsales:
- Fake Crowdsale Sites
What: Websites that are designed to look exactly like the genuine article. Even the URLs are similar - example: very often they just change one letter and “i” becomes “I” (it’s actually small letter for “L”).
- Fake Crypto Sites
What: In an effort to gain the trust of unsuspecting victims, phishing emails will often purport to be from some of the larger crypto sites, well known online wallets and exchanges are commonly used.
- Fake Messages
What: Most crowdsales have dedicated Slack or Telegram support channels serving the community, use Twitter, Reddit and other social media platforms to communicate with the broader public. Due to the open nature of these platforms, it is difficult to identify legitimate representatives of the actual project.
How: Criminals will use the channels mentioned above to send or redirect you to their own solution where they will steal your funds. Slackbot reminders are often used as unsuspecting messengers of scam links.
Solution: Never click on links distributed through by the means mentioned above. Always contribute to crowdsales through the official site of the project.
There are some technical ways to protect yourself, like the following Chrome extension. It has a solid track record of protecting users from blacklisted phishing domains. There is also a list of discovered phishing sites for ether (Ether scam database) that is being updated regularly.
The best weapon in the fight against scammers and other digital criminals during the crowdsale is patience. In a panicky time of a crowdsale it is easy to get too excited and click on a link in a rush. So remember - we will not send you the contribution address via email or social media, you always have to come to our official page.
Example of a scam message in one of the Cofound.it projects
All the information is true but the link is false!!! Therefore if you get a piece of information you are not sure if it is legit you can always check with the Cofound.it team members (through our public Slack channel, Twitter or other means of communication). And never forget, our team members will never contact you directly!
Before you leave never forget: if it's too good to be true it’s surely a scam.
Also, you can take a look the Bittrex security announcement on how to stay safe here.
Digital criminals can also scam or heck you through the services and platforms outside Cofound.it. Services and platforms like wallets, marketplaces ... For more information check this excelled article on Protecting Yourself and Your Funds, courtesy of the MyEtherWallet team.