It just so happens that there is a so-called community around each project in the ICO world, if, of course, the founders take care of it. Communities are a topic for a completely different article. We shall apply this term within the framework of this material to all those people who are connected to one of the communication channels of the project.
The most popular of these channels is Telegram. Almost any self-respecting ICO project has a group chat on this messenger. Community activity in the chats of projects is one of the main indicators of interest in the project, and therefore its prospects.
Often, chat rooms on Telegram actually serve as a support service, where admins help users solve problems with transactions, specify how to participate in the bounty, and tell users how to claim airdrops. And this is where the scammers spawn onto the stage.
The main earnings of scammers are provided by credulous members of this or that community. What are the strategies of these crypto fraudsters? Each Telegram chat has at least one administrator. The scammer starts his evildoing with the creation of an account that resembles the administrator's account. The final result depends on the efforts and imagination of the scammer. The fact is that changing a name in Telegram is not a problem, and neither is stealing someone's photo. The main problem for the scammer is that they cannot in any way exactly fake the username of the user, which is unique and, in fact, is a link to the user profile. This is where imagination comes in handy. For example, here are two usernames: AlbinaSundberg and AIbinaSundberg. At first glance, there is no difference but if you look closely, you can see that in one case, the second letter is L, and in the other, it is the capital letter i. And if there is more than one admin in the chat, the scammers get even more room for imagination.
After copying the account, the scammer closely follows the chat. When he sees that someone is addressing the admins with a problem, he immediately writes a private message to the user, in which he offers all possible help in solving the problem on behalf of the project team, and at the same time can unobtrusively recall that now the ICO is offering a big bonus, but it is not available when buying tokens through the project website, so "Here's a wallet number, transfer your Ethers." Of course, an experienced investor immediately suspects something amiss and the scammer will be identified and banned. Those for whom the purchase of ICO tokens is a novelty, however, often become the victims of scammers.
The way the ICO team fights scammers can also be used to draw some conclusions about the project. Of course, given the specifics of Telegram as an application, the administrators do not have a lot of tools at their disposal to deal with the scammers. Competent communication and timely and regular notification of the chat audience about the activities of scammers is a sign of a good team. Usually, such information is placed in the chat in the form of a pinned message. The very presence of scammers around a project speaks of its prospects, however, because money can be stolen only where it can be found.
Of course, the scammers use other methods of fraud. For example, modern hacking programs allow one to specify absolutely any address of the sender, and it does not even cost any exuberant amounts of money. The scammers use such programs to send letters to community members allegedly from the official email of a project. This is a very dangerous tool in the hands of the scammer, as few will doubt the authenticity of the letter, seeing the official address of the email. In such letters, the scammers pretend to be an automatic newsletter, which is sometimes sent after the purchase of tokens at an ICO, and they mention some transaction error that can be very easily corrected simply by sending money to another wallet...
The scammers are not the only dangerous inhabitants of the crypto world. The FUDers have been increasingly active. Their name comes from the word FUD, which is an acronym from the phrase, "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.” The FUDers deliberately create a situation where rumors or unconfirmed news about a particular currency influence its rate, which is obviously beneficial only to a narrow segment of the audience. We can say that FUD is a tactical information attack aimed at stimulating panic, which, in turn, leads to massive selloffs and drains of assets. Identifying FUDers is much harder than scammers since admins might think that this is just a very concerned member of the community, and will try to calm him down by exercising restraint and courtesy while the FUDer gluts the chat with panicky messages that put all other members of the community on alert. This kind of scammer is dangerous primarily for the ICO projects themselves, because the FUDers can prevent them from raising their hard caps or lead to the rapid fall of their coin prices on exchanges.
Of course, the best protection against scammers and other unscrupulous inhabitants of the crypto world is personal awareness. Therefore, it is so important to first learn about the topic of cryptocurrencies and the dangers that accompany them before sending any funds anywhere.