8 Popular Telegram Crypto Scams: How to Avoid Them

Mar 12, 2024 | Crypto Scam Defense | 0 comments

Since its launch in 2013, Telegram has gained attention among the many messaging apps, ranking as the 8th most popular social media platform globally in 2023, as reported by Data Reportal. Its success within the crypto community is largely due to the benefits of encrypted chats, which enhance privacy and security for crypto-related discussions.

However, this popularity has a downside, making Telegram a frequent target for Telegram crypto scams, especially for those new to the cryptocurrency community. Using false information, scammers seek to manipulate Telegram users to steal their crypto funds or the private keys of their crypto wallets.

In this blog post, we’ll look at Telegram crypto scams, highlight the top scams of 2024, and provide tips for detecting fake profiles to protect your crypto wallet and avoid being a scam victim.

What is Telegram?

Telegram is a messaging application based in the cloud, compatible with a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers. It allows the sending of text messages, multimedia files, and the recording of voice and video calls. 

One of its key features is end-to-end encrypted secret chats, ensuring that only the sender and receiver can access the content of the messages. This is why, during the years 2019-2020, it became popular as a vital tool for protestors organizing large groups, due to its group chat function that can reach up to 200,000 members.

Additionally, Telegram offers users:

  • Channels”, a feature that allows organizers to share updates easily. 
  • Users to maintain a higher degree of anonymity by not disclosing their phone numbers.
Telegram logo displayed on a shiny surface with paper planes symbolizing messages

What is Telegram’s Role in the Crypto Community?

In the world of cryptocurrency, Telegram’s value cannot be ignored. It has come to be the preferred platform for crypto-related conversations, with almost every major blockchain project and crypto community establishing a presence through Telegram groups or channels. 

The platform’s commitment to anonymity and its robust end-to-end encryption protects users from external scrutiny, making it especially relevant in countries where cryptocurrency faces governmental opposition or general hostility.

The privacy and flexibility offered by Telegram make it an invaluable tool for those involved in cryptocurrency, whether for:

  •  Sharing news.
  • Discussing investments.
  • Coordinating on projects. 

However, this very popularity has made Telegram a target for scammers, who see the platform’s crypto-focused groups and channels as a good base for their fraudulent schemes. 

What is a Telegram Crypto Scam?

Telegram crypto scams are clever schemes that occur either directly within the app or redirect users to dangerous third-party sites. These scams often target individuals new to the crypto scene or those with limited experience, with the goal of stealing crypto funds or personal information, such as private keys or login details of crypto wallets. 

Their complex nature is designed to take advantage of less well-informed users, taking advantage of the sense of surprise and a lack of familiarity with common scam tactics.

Smartphone screen showing Telegram app icon next to other application icons

Most Popular Telegram Crypto Scams in 2024

As Telegram is a primary communication tool in the crypto community, it’s crucial to recognize the scamming techniques used on this platform. Here’s the 8 popular types targeting users in 2024.

1-Copycat/Fake Channels

These scams involve creating Telegram channels or groups that closely look like legitimate ones, complete with similar names, logos, and content. Scammers promise exclusive content, giveaways, or investment opportunities to attract users. 

Once inside, members are inundated with phishing links, fake airdrops, or impersonated members asking for personal information or cryptocurrency. Knowing how to differentiate these fraudulent channels from genuine ones requires vigilance and verification of their authenticity. 

2- “Crypto Guru” Scams

Some people or groups claim to be crypto experts, offering investment advice or trading data for a fee. They might present false credentials or success stories to make them look legitimate. 

However, once payment is made, users often receive poor advice or no information at all. The scammers then disappear, leaving investors at a loss. It’s crucial to approach unsolicited financial advice with skepticism and carry out thorough background checks.

3-Cryptocurrency Giveaway Scams

These scams exploit the promise of quick profits through fake giveaways, impersonating well-known figures or projects. Victims are promised significant returns for a small initial cryptocurrency deposit to participate. 

Unfortunately, once the payment is made, the promised returns never materialize, and the scammers vanish. Legitimate giveaways do not require participants to send cryptocurrency up-front.

4-Pump and Dump Scams

Scammers set up a scheme within Telegram groups to inflate a cryptocurrency’s price artificially. False or exaggerated information is spread to convince members to invest, them when the price peaks, the organizers sell off their stocks at a profit, causing the price to crash and leaving others with losses. 

The anonymity and group dynamics of Telegram facilitate these schemes, highlighting the importance of caution when engaging in investment activities based on group recommendations.

5-Fake Alpha or Insider News Screenshots

In these scams, the scammers share fabricated screenshots of “insider information” or “alpha” in relation to upcoming projects, token listings, or market movements. 

These fake leaks seek to manipulate investment decisions, often leading to financial losses for victims. Genuine insider information is not frequently freely shared, emphasizing the need for verifying news through credible sources.

6-Phishing Scams

Phishing scams on Telegram trick users into sharing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or financial details. Scammers create fake login pages or impersonate legitimate accounts, using messages that ask users to click on malicious links. 

This can result in unauthorized account access and potential financial theft. Users should be cautious of unsolicited messages and verify the authenticity of links before clicking.

7-Fake Job Listings and Offers

These scams prey on vulnerable people seeking opportunities in the crypto space, with scammers posting fictitious job listings or offers. Victims might be attracted with promises of high returns for minimal effort or prestigious roles in crypto projects. 

Scammers may request personal information, upfront payments for supposed training, or crypto payments to “secure” the position, leaving victims jobless and financially compromised.

8-Love-bait Scams

Scammers create fake profiles to establish romantic or close friendships, gradually building trust. Eventually, they introduce the idea of a successful crypto investment or a fabricated financial crisis needing immediate cryptocurrency support. 

These scams exploit emotional vulnerability, leading to financial exploitation as victims are manipulated to transfer cryptocurrency. 

How to Identify a Fake Telegram Account?

Identifying a fake Telegram account or profile is crucial in using the platform safely. Scammers have become highly skilled at creating convincing fake profiles, but there are several key signs and steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Profile Picture and Username: Beware of accounts using generic or possibly stolen profile pictures. A reverse image search can reveal if the photo is used elsewhere online. Additionally, a mismatch between the username (@) and display name could suggest a fraud.
  • Activity and Content: A lack of posts, minimal contacts, or missing profile details often characterizes fake accounts. Also, unsolicited messages with suspicious links, requests for personal information, or dubious offers should raise concerns.
  • Contact Details: Scammers may provide false contact information in their bio or description. It’s wise to independently verify these details rather than taking them at face value.
  • Profile Details: Incomplete profiles or those with poor grammar and spelling errors can be indicators of a fake account. Legitimate users typically take the time to fill out their profiles more thoroughly.
  • Verification and Official Accounts: Telegram provides verification marks (a blue checkmark) for some public figures or businesses. Check if the account is genuinely verified. Also, compare the information provided on Telegram with that on official websites or social media profiles to ensure consistency.

How to Protect Your Telegram Account?

To protect yourself on Telegram, it’s essential to take proactive steps with your account settings and personal information. Here’s how:

  • Adjust Privacy Settings: Immediately after setting up your Telegram account, go to the privacy and security settings. Limit the visibility of your personal information to your contacts only. 

For added security, enable a passcode or fingerprint ID, and don’t forget to activate two-step verification (2FA) for an extra layer of protection.

  • Create Strong Passwords: Utilize strong, unique passwords for your accounts to turn off scam attempts. Stop repeating the same password on various platforms. 

If remembering complex passwords is a challenge, consider using reputable password management tools that securely store and recall your passwords for you.

  • Keep Your Information Updated: Regularly update your contact information, such as your email and phone number linked to your Telegram account. 

This step is vital, as it could be crucial in getting access to your account should you ever lose it.

Person holding a smartphone with a lock symbol on the screen, indicating digital security

Conclusion: Protect Your Future in the Crypto Space

As Telegram continues to be a key platform for the crypto community, being proactive about security measures and staying informed about Telegram crypto scams is crucial for protecting your crypto wallet and personal data. 

Scammers targeting the crypto community caused over $1.555 billion in losses in the U.S. in 2023 alone, accounting for 15% of all fraud-related losses. This ranks cryptocurrency as the second-highest payment type for monetary losses, trailing only behind bank transfers, as reported by Surfshark.

At the Cryptoscam Defense Network (CDN), we recognize the endless opportunities within the crypto community and prioritize providing the necessary knowledge and tools for safe decision-making. Our commitment is to education and support, ensuring everyone can avoid scams and secure their digital future.

We Want to Hear From You!

The fight against cryptocurrency scams is a community effort, and your insights are invaluable. Have you encountered a scam, or do you have questions about navigating the complex world of digital currency? Maybe you have suggestions or want to share your story to help others. Whatever your experience, we’re here to listen and support you.

Reach out to us at hello@cryptoscamdefensenetwork.com. Share your stories, ask questions, or make comments. Your voice is crucial to building a resilient and informed community. Together, we can improve our defenses and promote a safer digital space for all.

Be a part of the change. Your story matters.

Photos via Unsplash.