If you follow the money you’ll inevitably find people who want to steal it. Scammers have been targeting owners of XRP, Ripple’s native token, and this has been increasing since December 2018, according to Thomas Silkjaer writing for Forbes.
What is a giveaway scam?
The term ‘giveaway scam’ is yet another new term to enter the crypto lexicon. Simply put, the term covers attempts to defraud people by convincing them that if they send funds to a project they will get more back than they put in, typically via an ‘airdrop’. The scammers usually impersonate the customer support element of exchanges or other websites, but more dangerously, they put up fake profiles on social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook and Telegram, the latter being the preferred channel for crypto-related projects and especially ICOs. Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder, has been very outspoken about these scams, and not least because his name has frequently been used by scammers to set up fake accounts.
How to report fake accounts
There is a way to report these fake accounts. Go to Bithomp and you can submit what you think is the “scam/fraud XRPL account”. Bithomp then investigates the accounts and if they find that they are fraudulent, they “add a warning to their block explorer service and expose the addresses via an API.”
How many XRP giveaway scams are there?
Silkjaer looked into the XRP ledger to see just how many ‘bad actors’ have been involved in this activity. He identified around 150 accounts connected to scammers or potential scammers. The number of payments received totalled 1,830 and the amount received 2.8 million XRP. He believes that there are just two major scam groups involved in giveaway scams, because “some payment destination tags have multiple relations, meaning that the same destination tag has been used by more than one account.”
A bit of advice
So, here is the standard advice if you believe that you may be being targeted by XRP scammers: If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t send funds to an unknown address, or at least be cautious.