What Are Airdrop Scams?
Airdrop scams in New Zealand revolve around non-existent airdrops that lack endorsement from the protocol’s team. However, they go beyond mere fabrication. These scams exploit investors’ eagerness to engage in incentivization programs, putting them at risk of security breaches that often result in the depletion of their wallets.
In such scenarios, scammers typically masquerade as legitimate protocols or influencers, endorsing a fraudulent airdrop portal that prompts users to link their wallets for the airdrop. These deceptive websites often appear genuine at first glance, mirroring the visuals of the actual site. Once you connect your wallets to claim the supposed ‘airdrop,’ they encounter an error message, and their wallet contents are illicitly drained.
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How Do Airdrop Scams Work?
As highlighted earlier, airdrop scams in New Zealand hinge on posing as authentic platforms to deceive investors, prompting them to lower their defenses and grant wallet permissions, or in some cases, divulge their seed phrase.
Beyond the tactic of promoting bogus sites on social media, investors may stumble upon airdrop scams when they unexpectedly receive new tokens they didn’t purchase. Upon investigating the origin of these tokens using a block explorer like BscScan, they might encounter an error message urging them to visit another site to ‘claim’ the tokens.
Example of Airdrop Scams
Fake Profile Marketing Airdrop
Celestia recently conducted an earndrop program, and the introduction of TIA has led to the emergence of fake profiles, enticing users with a supposed last chance to participate in the TIA airdrop. In the provided screenshot, a scammer has crafted a counterfeit profile resembling the genuine one, with slightly altered handles (calestiatoken vs. CelestiaOrg).
To boost the account’s visibility, they declared a 10 million TIA token airdrop for 1,200 users who retweet the post and share their ETH wallet address. This strategy aims to garner attention and an overall increase in relevance for the account. It could also serve as an initial step in a potential airdrop token claim scam, where the 1,200 accounts may receive a certain number of tokens. However, to retrieve these tokens, they would be required to connect their wallet to a particular site.
This scheme is unequivocally fraudulent since TIA isn’t even an Ethereum-based token.
Another prime example is ApeCoin they released a token earlier this year.
Fake Airdrop Claim Websites
Numerous airdrops mandate investors to confirm their eligibility via their wallets to access their portion of the airdrop. Conversely, fraudulent airdrops establish deceptive claim websites, mirroring the names of legitimate sites.
In the image Below, there is a fake claim website for the Arbitrum airdrop. Despite noticeable differences in the website addresses, investors unfamiliar with the authentic site might be susceptible to the fake one, which directs them to a phishing website.
Impersonation Of Popular Accounts
Another instance involves scammers mimicking the appearance of a popular account to deceive unsuspecting investors through the promotion of counterfeit airdrops.
The provided screenshot displays two accounts— a counterfeit one and the authentic account. The discrepancy in appearance becomes evident only upon close inspection of the handles (OilimqioCrypto vs. OlimpioCrypto). Additionally, a careful examination reveals that the fake account’s profile picture is encircled, while the genuine account’s profile picture is framed within a hexagon.
How to Avoid Airdrop Scams
As airdrop scam tactics continue to evolve, it’s crucial for Kiwis to stay vigilant and steer clear of these schemes. Here are ways to protect yourself from falling victim to them.