A fake investment group scam is a type of scam in which the user is led to believe he can make a profit by investing crypto with Telegram and/or Discord investment groups. If the user falls for the scam and sends the assets to the investment group, he will lose the invested assets.
The purpose of the fake investment group scam is to accumulate crypto from the victims, without ever returning the invested funds back to them.
Attackers are most often admins and creators of fake investment groups on Telegram and Discord. The attacker is impersonating the investor, claiming that he invested money in an investment group and already made excellent returns, offering the user the opportunity to do the same. Once the user transfers assets to the attacker, the attacker gains full control of the assets and never returns them to the victim.
Victims of the fake investment group scams are users who are members of various crypto groups on Telegram and Discord. The attacks are not limited only to these two messaging platforms.
How does the fake investment group scam work?
In order for the attacker to succeed, the user has to take the following actions:
- The user has to join a Telegram or Discord group associated with crypto. Attackers are continuously scanning crypto groups and targeting random members.
- The victim gets a direct message from a person who is not in the user’s contact list. The person claims that he is an investor, making excellent returns with an investment groups that operates on Telegram or Discord. The attacker urges the user to invest money with the same group and shares the link to the user.
- If the user follows the link, the user is forwarded to the fake investment group. Inside the group there is plenty of activity, which almost entirely comes from bots, admins and moderators, all working together to create an ilusion of legitimacy. The messages inside the group are full of praise for the investment group, screenshots of alleged profits, messages of thanks, etc.
- If the users decides to send the money to the group in hopes of achieving the return, the user becomes the victim of the scam. His investment is never returned and often times he is asked to send more money in order to claim back his initial invstment.
How to protect yourself?
The first step in protecting yourself from this type of scam is to ask yourself why would a stranger on the Internet randomly contact you with an offer to make money. If the money-making scheme is working so well, why waste time on contacting strangers via Telegram instead of putting your own assets inside?
For protection against these types of scams, do the following:
- Enable maximum security on your Telegram and Discord. Inside the app settings you can disable calls from people who are not on your contact list.
- Take a moment to think about the reasons why a stranger is directly contacting you. If it looks too good to be true – it probably is.
- Never send money to strangers. Never trust strangers online.
- Consider using a cold wallet for storing your crypto.
- Consider investing in legit passive income projects.
Stay safe out there.