Giveaway scams are one of the most prevalent types of crypto scams. Often found on popular social media platforms such as Youtube or Twitter, these are a form of social engineering attack used to convince you to send crypto to scammers.
How do they work?
A hacker will compromise or impersonate a prominent public figure or company and claim to be giving away crypto. To participate in the crypto giveaway, you must first send an amount of crypto to the address they advertise. In many cases they will promise to send back double what you send them.
Their goal is to rush you into a bad decision by making you think that you’re about to miss out on a huge opportunity. They will often specify the exact amount of cryptocurrency being given away, such as “10,000 BTC giveaway” and then use fake accounts to leave comments and make it look like people are actually receiving the crypto. People will have the fear of missing out (FOMO) and race to send crypto to the scammers before considering if the giveaway is real or not.
Twitter and Youtube Giveaways
On Twitter, the fake giveaway account will sometimes have a blue verified check mark, making it appear more legitimate. There will also be bots replying to the tweet claiming that the giveaway is real and that they just received free crypto. On Youtube, there is often a livestream video that showcases a celebrity or company representative talking about something completely unrelated to crypto. The comment section is full of bots claiming they received the giveaway. These are all tactics to help generate social ‘proof’ that the giveaway is legitimate.
How to Protect Yourself
Almost all types of crypto giveaways are scams. They all follow a similar pattern of pretending to be someone else, then asking you to send crypto before they send you more back. Educating yourself and being able to identify this type of crypto scam is the best way to protect yourself.
Remember, once crypto is sent to a "giveaway" address, it is gone forever. Crypto transactions are irreversible, meaning there is no way to get your crypto back. This makes these types of scams highly effective and often recurring.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is. Think twice before sending your crypto and if you need to report an incident or you have fallen victim to this type of scam, reach out to our Live Chat support or submit a request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional resources for reporting and learning about fraud: