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Security Firm Exposes 3 Telegram Channels Promoting Crypto Scams

2 mins
Updated by Ali Martinez
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In Brief

  • CertiK, a Web3 security firm, exposes a scam operation across three Telegram channels, causing financial losses and damaging trust in crypto assets.
  • The scam channels, AltLex, DON CRYPTON, and SZ Trades, use paid actors and fake tokens to defraud investors, siphoning around $3.2 million so far.
  • CertiK’s investigation provides insights into the scammers' operations, suggesting a UK connection and highlighting the risks of investing in crypto assets.
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Web3 security firm CertiK has unveiled a sophisticated scam operation across multiple Telegram channels, causing substantial financial losses and undermining trust in crypto assets.

Telegram is one of the most popular messaging platforms among crypto enthusiasts. Hence, scammers hire actors to endorse fake tokens through Telegram channels.

How Bad Actors Use Telegram Channels for Crypto Scams

CertiK, a prominent blockchain security firm, has been closely monitoring the activities of a serial scammer orchestrating honeypot schemes via at least three Telegram channels:

  1. AltLex
  3. SZ Trades – 加密貨幣

These channels, employing paid actors, initially offer legitimate trading advice before cunningly steering viewers towards investing in fraudulent tokens. This sinister operation has already siphoned approximately $3.2 million from unsuspecting victims.

The channels AltLex and DON CRYPTON, use a series of interconnected tactics to promote crypto scam tokens. AltLex became known for pushing fake Linea, Paxos, and Circle tokens. They used a trader guise named Alexander for credibility. DON CRYPTON, linked to AltLex via a telegra[.]ph post, uses a casting website actor for endorsements.

These channels start by posting real content to build trust. They then use this trust to push new, fake tokens. They often show fake proof of legitimacy and profit potential. Such tactics cause financial harm and erode the very foundation of trust the crypto market relies on.

Read more: Crypto Telegram Groups To Join in 2024

Scam tokens pair with Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) and use an unverified signature function. This manipulates price dynamics, making the tokens seem valuable. Then, the scammers drain the liquidity pool, leaving investors with worthless tokens they cannot sell.

CertiK’s investigation has also shed light on the wallets associated with these scams, offering insights into the scammers’ operations and potentially their locations. While the exact identity and whereabouts of the scammer remain elusive, clues suggest a connection to the UK, adding another layer of complexity to the operation.

“In line with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) marketing regulations, organizations offering crypto services must include disclaimers about investment risks. These disclaimers are only present for individuals in the UK (or those using a UK VPN server),” CertiK explained.

This expose highlights the risks associated with investing in crypto assets, particularly for newcomers whose allure of quick profits may draw in. It underscores the importance of due diligence and the need for investors to be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist at BeInCrypto, who writes about various topics, including decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), tokenization, crypto airdrops, decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins, and altcoins. Before joining BeInCrypto, he was a community consultant at Totality Corp, specializing in the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Harsh was a blockchain content writer and researcher at Financial Funda, where he created educational reports on...