The team and developers at blockchain platform Qtum (QTUM) recently noted that their official Telegram channel is one of their “most popular” social media sites.
Qtum wrote in a blog post that it’s great for chatting and troubleshooting with their knowledgeable administrators. Unfortunately, however, this channel has also been attracting impersonators and fraudsters who present themselves in direct messages to unsuspecting users, particularly new members, “helpfully” providing assistance and trying to “scam them out of their coins,” the Qtum team noted.
The Qtum team also mentioned that more sophisticated scammers will build up elaborate Telegram groups or sites, “copying other channel’s branding, filling them with fake accounts, and tantalizing offers which are scams.” Qtum added that they aim to keep their user community safe from these scammers and they’ve shared some tips on how to avoid these issues.
As noted by Yahoo Finance, Telegram has become “a haven” for crypto-related fraud activities. It can be quite challenging to tell imposters from the real thing, the Qtum team acknowledges.
As noted by the blockchain developers:
“Scammers will periodically create a realistic-looking Telegram group or website, copying all the graphics and branding from legitimate sites. They may add you to that Telegram group, depending on your Telegram settings.”
The Qtum team pointed out that one thing to look for if you find yourself added to a new Telegram channel that “purports to be an active cryptocurrency channel is whether you can enter a message or is it a broadcast-only channel.” They added that even if the channel seems to have many members who are eagerly chatting about getting prizes and rewards, but if you can’t enter a message that “should be a warning.”
As mentioned by the blockchain developers, a broadcast channel will “show the loudspeaker icon and only offer Mute and Unmute, not a place to enter a message.” Qtum’s developers also noted that if you get “added to an unexpected imposter channel, please report the channel and exit.”
You can also “set Telegram to allow your account to be added to a group or channel only by your contacts.” Simply “go to Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Groups & channels and set Group invite settings/WHO CAN ADD ME to ‘My contacts,'” Qtum noted.
Qtum Admins “never DM first,” the blockchain developers clarified.
The Qtum blog post added:
“Direct messaging is one of the main ways that scammers reach out to Telegram users. They do not even have to list their user account in the main chat group. Instead, they can use a secondary account in the main chat group to notice when new users show up or users that are having some technical questions and then use their scam account with a direct message to those users.”
The blog post further noted:
“Qtum avoids this issue since our admins never initiate direct chats with users. If a user has a question or a problem that needs some individual help, our admins will always begin with a chat in the main channel. If the issue can’t be settled there, only then will our admins ask the user for a direct message private chat. So, if a Qtum admin allegedly messages you directly on Telegram, then assume that it’s an impersonator looking to scam you. The best way to detect imposters by is looking closely at their username.”
As noted by Qtum, these impersonators “use various tricks and time pressure to offer wallet help or present some special offer for a limited time.” The idea is to “make you act to make a quick decision,” Qtum reveals.
The blockchain developers also mentioned that you must “never do any transaction for crypto or expose or provide your private keys, your password, or your recovery words on social media.” The “odds are very high that you’ll be scammed” and scammers can “create elaborate and realistic sites for contests,” Qtum’s blog post noted.
“Anything that asks you to send coins is a scam. Scammers can create elaborate “wallet recovery” or “tech support” sites. Anything that asks you to enter your seed words or private keys is a scam. Private keys or seed words should only be entered in official wallets obtained from official sites. Another common scam offers that if you send coins, they will send more back, for example, if you send 10 coins, they will send you 20 back. This offer is always a scam.”
To learn more about how to protect yourself from scams, check here.