Crypto scams: fake airdrops

Fake airdrop scams fall into two types: those that pretend to be real projects, and those that from the start are pure scams aimed at taking over the victim's cryptocurrency wallet.

Fake airdrop scams are based on impersonating real cryptocurrency projects and airdrops (deceptively similar copies) or even creating new, seemingly real airdrops. Criminals create fake ads on various platforms that encourage users to participate in “airdrops” and receive free cryptocurrencies. The complex nature of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology makes it secure and tamper-resistant. Unfortunately, its weak point is the man and his carelessness - this is exactly what the described scam is based on.

Criminals promise free cryptocurrencies or tokens in exchange for participating in the airdrop. These ads often look very convincing and encourage users to participate. To participate in the fake airdrop, users are asked to register on the site using their cryptocurrency wallet. Using Metamask, for example, the victim must consent to access the wallet, and in some cases scammers ask users to share their private keys or wallet password. This is tantamount to giving criminals control of the wallet and the critical moment when criminals use bots to transfer all funds straight to their accounts. The victim is left with nothing.

How to protect yourself from scams with fake airdrops?

To avoid losing your crypto through fake airdrop scams, it's worth following a few basic precautionary rules. Always check the source of the airdrop announcement. Make sure that it comes from the official source of the cryptocurrency project. If you are interested in participating in the airdrop, visit the official website of the project or use the official social channels to see if the airdrop is real. Check if the site has a current security certificate (padlock icon in front of the URL).

Before you participate in the airdrop, carefully study the cryptocurrency project. Make sure it is real and has good feedback from the cryptocurrency community. If you decide to participate in the airdrop, use empty wallets that do not contain large amounts of cryptocurrencies. Protect wallets where you keep other funds. Do not share your private keys or other sensitive information with anyone, even if someone claims that it is necessary to participate in the airdrop.

If you identify a fake airdrop, warn other users not to fall into the scam trap.

What can I do if I have been deceived in this or that way?

If you have been affected by a similar situation, you can:

  • submit a notice of the possibility of committing a crime,
  • consult with a legal adviser or lawyer,
  • decide on further legal steps after consultation.

Legal commentary

The described actions may be considered a crime of computer fraud specified in Article 287 of the Criminal Code. The perpetrator of such a crime is subject to imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years. In the so-called minor cases, the offender is subject to a fine, a restriction of liberty or imprisonment of up to one year.
In order for the proceedings to take place, it is necessary to file a notice of the possibility of committing a crime. The notice can be submitted in writing or orally to the protocol in the nearest unit of the Police or Prosecutor's Office. In the event of a conviction, the court may order, and at the request of the injured party, order the obligation to compensate (in whole or in part) the damage caused by the crime or to make reparation for the harm suffered. The application can be filed until the court wire is closed at the main hearing. Compensation or compensation may also be sought in civil proceedings. To do this, you need to file an action and file a corresponding lawsuit.

lawyer Rafał Lorent, counsel at 3DOTS Law

Fraud with fake airdrops is unfortunately common and can lead to significant financial losses. Therefore, it is important to be alert, careful and check everything repeatedly. In the world of cryptocurrencies, caution is always the key to keeping your assets safe.

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