How Scammers Used CoinMarketCap To Carry Out Crypto Scheme


Scams happen all the time in the crypto space but recently, the scammers have had to go through more sophisticated channels to make their scams more believable since more people are aware of how the more popular scams are carried out. This was the case in a recent crypto scheme that saw CoinMarketCap involved through what is presumed to be a hack. This report shows how these hackers who have made away with more than $100K did it.

CoinMarketCap Hacked?

On Sunday, April 3rd, smart contract audit company HashEx had noticed an intricate scheme to part crypto users from their money.

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These scammers had seemingly hacked CoinMarketCap’s Cryptown social network, gaining access to the admin, where they had proceeded to create a number of copycat verified CoinMarketCap accounts. With these accounts, the scammers had begun posting that they were doing a token sale. One of these copycat accounts appeared to be the official CoinMarketCap account on Cryptown which had also posted about the token sale, the “Official CoinMarketCoin Presale”.

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“The distinctive thing about this scam is that the comments about the token sale were made from CoinMarketCap’s official verified account,” noted Dmitry Mishunin, Founder and CEO of HashEx, who notified Bitcoinist of the scheme.

Coinmarketcap

Verified CoinMarketCap account posts about token sale

The link on the fake CoinMarketCap account had led to a fake landing page connected to the scheme. The advertised tokens were being sold on both the BSC and Ethereum blockchains. An important fact to note is that the scammers had put up this page during the night, coinciding with European time, which means that users in the region did not quickly understand what was going on at this time. 

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CoinMarketCap

Scammers promote scam presale on Cryptown

By the time Bitcoinist had this report, the scammers had already been able to raise more than 8 ETH and over 158 BNB. On Monday morning, this number had grown to over 12.7 ETH and 192.56 BNB. The Ethereum address has already been marked as a scam on Etherscan. Both addresses remain active as deposits continue to trickle in.

How To Avoid Crypto Scams

These crypto scams can be obvious at times. But sometimes, they are more sophisticated and go through channels like the CoinMarketCap hacked account which commands a lot of respect in the space. However, the rule still remains “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

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In the case of the CoinMarketCap scam, Mishunin notes that “Intruders offered to just send money to some third-party address.” This is often a telltale sign of a scam, especially when they ask to send crypto to an address and they will send some crypto back. “It is unlikely that such a large company would conduct a sale without a smart contract and connecting a wallet on the site,” the HashEx CEO added.

Crypto scams have continued to ramp up and become more sophisticated. Bitcoinist reported in March that Kenyans had lost $120 million to crypto scammers last year alone. Cryptocurrency scams grew by 81% in 2021 and are expected to rise in the new year.

Crypto total market cap chart from TradingView.com

Crypto total market cap above $2 trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com
Featured image from NPR, chart from TradingView.com


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