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Crypto Scam 101: Airdrop Scam

Crypto Scam 101: Airdrop Scam

Josh has spent most of his waking hours scouring the Internet, especially Twitter and Discord, for airdrops. 

An airdrop is a crypto giveaway. It is an activity that blockchain startups use to promote awareness for digital assets (coins and other tokens like NFTs).

Since Josh made $1,000 from a Solana airdrop in 2021, he was determined to get rich only via crypto airdrops; he kept the Solana in his wallet untouched.

On some days, he got tokens, and on others, he didn’t. Most of his tokens were worthless and had no real money value. But Josh was determined to find his gold amongst the dirt.

During one of his numerous searches, he came across an airdrop ad on Twitter promising that the tokens to be dropped would be worth thousands of dollars in a short while. 

True to his nature, Josh quickly opened the link and was asked to attach a Solana address. He attached the address with the Solana tokens worth $1,000, which he had already collected. 

Two hours after filling in the details and hitting send, Josh got a notification from his wallet that his $1,000 worth of Solana tokens had been successfully transferred. Josh was shocked and saddened; he went straight to his wallet to understand what had happened. 

His entire portfolio had been transferred to an unknown wallet, and there was no way he could reverse the transaction. That’s when Josh knew he had fallen for an airdrop scam.

Crypto scams

There are different types of crypto scams because the widespread adoption of crypto has seen criminals devise various methods to steal money from unsuspecting people. 

In this article, we talk about airdrop scams, how they are carried out, and how they can be spotted and avoided. 

Airdrop scam

The aim of an airdrop is to drive awareness, get a lot of people interested in a token, and start using it before it is listed on an exchange and the initial coin offering (ICO) ensues. This is why the scam works easily; it is mostly unknown tokens that are used in airdrops. 

The process of an airdrop involves filling in your details, joining a community, and performing required tasks to get the promised tokens. Criminals use this process to access the wallets of unsuspecting users. 

Once you fill in your address and grant wallet access, they can easily hack into your wallet and steal all your crypto.

Due to the individuality of crypto transactions, there’s no central body you can approach to start the recovery of the funds because transactions on the blockchain are irreversible. 

How to avoid an airdrop scam

Verify opportunities

See Also

In your quest to get money via airdrops, you need to be careful about the kind of opportunities that you seize. Most airdrops are fake and worthless, so you need to do a lot of research before you drop your details. 

A lot of information can be found on the landing and onboarding page of the token’s website. If you don’t see any use case for the token or notice something out of place, you are better off staying away.

Use multiple addresses

One of the ways to avoid being swindled of your money by fake airdrops is to use different unconnected addresses for all your airdrops.

That way, you can be sure that your other wallets won’t be cleared. If possible, you should use another app entirely for airdrops.

Hoard important information

Airdrops only require your wallet address and not important information like your private keys and login details; those aren’t supposed to be shared with people you don’t trust. If an airdrop asks for such information, you should avoid it at all costs.

Airdrops were initially started to help new crypto startups market their tokens, but just as is the case of most acts of fraud, it has been hijacked by criminals to exploit crypto enthusiasts and investors.

Only a handful of airdrops will translate to good money, and the more desperate you are to make money through them, the more likely you are to fall for a scam. Stay vigilant! 

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