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Defi Scams – Most Common Scams in the DeFi Space

Crypto Chain Wire

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In the world of Defi, scams are unfortunately all too common. This article looks at popular Defi scams, how they operate, and how to protect yourself.

We’ll also provide tips on what to do if somebody scammed you and how to report a scammer. Finally, we’ll discuss the implications of DeFi scamming and present examples of successful prosecutions.

What Are DeFi Scams, and How Do They Work? 

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a term that has gained enormous popularity over the years. DeFi is the shift from centralized financial systems to peer-to-peer finance enabled by decentralized technologies built on the Ethereum blockchain.

DeFi promises a more equal and accessible financial system, but it’s still largely unregulated. Lack of regulation has made DeFi a haven for fraudsters, who have plundered millions from unwary consumers.

We can summarize a typical scam in three steps:

  1. The scammer creates a fake project or impersonates an existing one.
  2. The scammer promotes the fake project or impersonates the existing one to generate interest and attract users.
  3. The scammer exits the scam, leaving users with worthless tokens or no access to their funds.

The Most Common Types of DeFi Scams 

There are many types of scams in the DeFi sector, but some are more common than others. Let us look into a few of this industry’s most frequent criminal schemes.

Phishing scams

DeFi is not immune to phishing scams. Due to the intricacy of several DeFi protocols, fraudsters have managed to successful target newcomers. 

The most common type of phishing scam in the DeFi space is impersonation. This is when a scammer creates a fake website or social media account that looks identical to a legitimate one. 

They will then use this fake account to try and trick users into sending them money or personal information. Another common type of DeFi scam is the Ponzi scheme. Instead of investing the money, the fraudster pays out previous investors. 

This scam is widespread in the DeFi space, as there are often high returns from investing in new protocols.

Scams Involving Fake or Stolen Identities

One of the most common scams in the Defi space is identity theft. Someone uses your personal information to register a new account or access an existing one. 

They may also use your information to apply for credit cards or loans or to make purchases in your name.

Another way that identity theft can occur is when someone steals your private key or recovery phrase. This gives them access to your accounts and allows them to make changes or send funds without your permission.

Pump and Dump Schemes

If you are not new to the field of financial investments, then you must have probably heard about pump-and-dump schemes. 

A group conspires to acquire a cryptocurrency at the same moment to drive up its price. Afterward, it sells it when at the peak price after promising a group of traders that this would not happen.

Pumpers make a profit, whereas dumpers lose. Sadly, it’s as simple as that. Pump and dump schemes are not new and have been around for quite some time. They are so common that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an investor alert about them.

Forgery and Counterfeiting of Digital Assets

Unfortunately, not every project in the DeFi world is legitimate and original. Forgery and counterfeiting are rampant, with scammers selling digital assets that don’t exist or aim to look like something else.

This scam generally happens when someone creates a website or social media account that looks identical to a legitimate project. However, the page has slight changes that allow the scammer to redirect funds to their wallet. 

For example, a scam on Twitter happened when someone created a fake version of the popular Defi project Uniswap. The account looked identical to the official one, except that it had one letter changed in the URL. 

This small change allowed the scammer to siphon over $150,000 worth of Ether (ETH) from unsuspecting users.

Fraudulent Activities Associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) 

Last but not least, ICOs tend to have an association with fraudulent activities. In an ICO, a company offers digital tokens for investors’ fiat currency or cryptocurrency. However, many ICOs are scams, with companies using the funds raised to enrich themselves instead of developing the project.

A severe fraud associated with ICOs is when the team behind the project absconds with the funds. This type of fraud is, technically, an “exit scam.” 

In an exit scam, the team often creates a fake project website and whitepaper, promising huge returns to investors. They will then raise money from unsuspecting investors and make off the cash, leaving investors high and dry.

How to Protect Yourself from DeFi Scams 

At this point, you will probably be wondering how you can protect yourself from falling into one of these scams. Below are a few tips.

  1. Do your research: This is the most important thing you can do. When you are looking at a project, make sure to read up on it as much as possible. Look at the team’s backgrounds and the project’s roadmap, and try to find as much information as possible.
  2. Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose: This general rule applies to all investments, but it is essential in the DeFi space. These projects are still very new, and there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding them. As such, you should only invest an amount you are comfortable losing.
  3. Beware of social media scams: Social media is a great way to stay up-to-date on all the latest news in the crypto world. However, it is also an excellent way for scammers to reach many people. Be careful about the links you click on and the information you trust.
  4. Look for projects with KYC and audit certifications: If a project has undergone a KYC (know-your-customer) or audit process, it passed a vetting procedure. This adds an extra security layer and gives you peace of mind. SolidProof, PeckShield, Hacken, and Solidity Finance are popular companies taking care of this aspect.

What to Do If Somebody Scammed You

If you think someone scammed you, there are a few things you can do:

  1. First, try to resolve the issue with the person or company you believe scammed you. This may be difficult, but it’s always worth a shot.
  2. Contact your local consumer protection agency if you can’t resolve the issue.
  3. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  4. Finally, you can contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.

How to Report a DeFi Scam 

If you think you’ve been the victim of a DeFi scam, consider taking a few actions to report the criminals.

First, report it to the project team or protocol developers if possible. They may help you recover your lost funds or take action to prevent others from being scammed in the future.

You can also report the scam to a crypto exchange or wallet provider. Obviously, this is applicable if you used any of these channels to access the DeFi project. Many of them have fraud departments that can help you get your money back or prevent future scams.

Finally, you can report the scam to law enforcement. This is often a long shot, but it’s worth doing if you’ve lost a significant amount of money.

The Consequences of DeFi Scamming 

Besides losing your money, scamming in the DeFi sector has several adverse effects on the industry. For instance, it undermines the trust in decentralized finance protocols and gives scammers free marketing.

When a user falls into a scam, it’s not only the investor who loses money. The whole DeFi industry is negatively affected by it. 

Scammed users will likely be more cautious in the future, leading to a decrease in trust in decentralized finance protocols. Using popular DeFi protocols and services, they can reach a larger audience and scam more people. In addition, it gives scammers free marketing. 

Examples of Successful DeFi Scam Prosecutions 

In recent years, there have been several successful DeFi scam prosecutions. Here are some notable examples:

In 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a company called EtherDelta with operating an unregistered securities exchange. The Ethereum blockchain-based decentralized exchange EtherDelta enables users to swap ETH and ERC20 tokens.

The SEC alleged that EtherDelta’s founder had illegally profited from the exchange by operating it as an unregistered broker-dealer. Coburn agreed to pay $300,000 in penalties and disgorge nearly $13 million in ill-gotten gains.

In 2020, the CFTC accused My Big Coin Pay, Inc. of running a fraudulent virtual currency operation.

My Big Coin Pay promised investors they could use virtual currency to buy and sell goods and services. However, the CFTC alleged that the company used investor funds to pay for personal expenses, including travel and luxury goods.

The CFTC ordered My Big Coin Pay to pay $6 million and disgorge nearly $360,000 in ill-gotten gains.

These are just a few examples of the many successful DeFi scam prosecutions that have taken place in recent years. These cases show that law enforcement is taking action against DeFi scams. If you have been a victim of a DeFi scam, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.

The Importance of Verifying Senders and Receivers Before Transferring Funds 

One last thing you should consider before transferring funds is verifying both the sender’s and receiver’s addresses. Too many people have fallen victim to scams because they didn’t confirm the address before sending funds. 

If you’re not sure how to verify an address, here are a few tips: 

  • Check if the address is valid on Ethereum’s leading network. You can do this by pasting the address into a block explorer like EtherScan. 
  • Make sure the address has a balance. If it doesn’t, that could be a sign that it’s not a valid address. 
  • If you’re sending funds to an exchange, check if the exchange has a page on EtherScan. If it does, compare the addresses to make sure they match. 

These are just a few of the many ways you can verify an address. By taking these extra steps, you can help protect yourself from scams.

Bottom Line – Protecting Yourself from DeFi Scams Takes Education and Awareness

The best way to protect yourself from DeFi scams is to educate yourself and stay aware of the latest scams. Understanding how these scams work can help protect yourself and your hard-earned money.

Contact a lawyer to discuss your options if you think you may have been a victim of a DeFi scam. There were case

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Zeebu Takes ETHDenver by Storm as Cypher Sponsor, Presents ZBU Governance Hackathon with Prize Pool of Over $45K in Prizes, $2M in Grants

Crypto Chain Wire

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Zeebu’s participation and sponsorship at ETHDenver spotlight the future of DeFi and blockchain governance, setting a new standard for community and developer engagement.

Zeebu, a pioneering force in the DeFi and Web3 space, announces its participation as a Cypher Sponsor at ETHDenver, the world’s largest and longest-running ETH event, taking place from February 23rd to March 3rd. This sponsorship marks Zeebu’s commitment to nurturing the Web3 community, fostering innovation, and promoting the spirit of #BUIDLing. With a series of keynotes, hackathons, and unique community engagement initiatives, Zeebu aims to inspire and catalyze the next generation of blockchain brilliance.

“ETHDenver represents not just a community gathering, but a melting pot of ideas shaping the future of blockchain. We’re here to be a part of that future—to contribute, learn, and grow with the community,” says Raj Brahmbhatt, Founder and CEO of Zeebu. “Our involvement as a Cypher Sponsor underscores our belief in the power of community-driven innovation and our commitment to the DeFi ecosystem.”

At the heart of ETHDenver, Zeebu will be a participant and a significant contributor, supporting the future of blockchain and connecting with industry peers, innovators, founders, developers, and the broader Ethereum community. The event will feature Zeebu’s team delivering insights into the future of decentralized finance and Zeebu’s role in revolutionizing the telecom settlement process with Web3 technologies.

“DeFi is at an inflection point, and at Zeebu, we are at the forefront of harnessing its potential to transform industries. Our presentation at ETHDenver will shed light on where we see the space heading and how Zeebu is leading the charge in making these technologies accessible and impactful,” shares Keshav Pandya, Co-founder & COO of Zeebu.

Adding to the excitement, Zeebu announces an exciting lineup of events and initiatives, including:

ZBU Governance Innovation Hackathon

Zeebu is set to host the ZBU Governance Innovation Hackathon, challenging participants to create groundbreaking solutions for blockchain governance. With prizes totalling $48,000 USDC for the winners and special grants worth up to $2 million in ZBU tokens for budding projects, the hackathon represents a significant opportunity for developers and startups to impact the future of Zeebu’s blockchain ecosystem.

Booth Donation Initiative

Zeebu is donating its booth space to showcase emerging talents and projects, emphasizing support for the community’s growth.

Empowering Innovators: Sponsorship for Developers

By sponsoring over 100 developers, Zeebu aims to boost innovation and support new talents in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Zeebu’s Visionaries Share Their Insights

Raj Brahmbhatt and Keshav Pandya, Zeebu’s leading minds, are set to deliver talks on the transformative impact of DeFi and Zeebu’s role in shaping the future of payments technology.

The ten-day event will begin with ETHDenver’s flagship hackathon, dubbed #BUIDLathon, and progress into the Main Event beginning February 29, 2024. The event will feature an NFT gallery, gaming arcade, workshops, networking gatherings, and more.

For more information on Zeebu, please visit zeebu.com.

About Zeebu

Zeebu, the pioneering Web3 Neobank, having settled more than $900M in telecom transactions, is quickly emerging as a trusted payment and settlement partner for global telecom businesses. Currently serving over 100 active telecom carriers, the platform is revolutionizing the industry by introducing blockchain-based settlements and the ZBU loyalty token. The ZBU token facilitates instant and secure global transactions and rewards participants for successful settlements on the platform.

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Web3 Neobank Platform, Zeebu Unveils Major Token Burn Through Phoenix Protocol

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Zeebu, the Web3 Neobank platform, has recently announced a strategic move to introduce the ZBU Phoenix Protocol. This initiative, aimed at optimizing token supply, underscores Zeebu’s commitment to build an ecosystem with a foundation of trust, backed by transparency and sustainability. 

Zeebu is a blockchain-based platform, specifically engineered for telecom transactions. It aims to revolutionize the sector by enabling automated settlements, facilitating seamless global payments, and bolstering efficiency and security through a unified telecom payment ecosystem. The ZBU token is a key component of the Zeebu platform. It plays a pivotal role in enabling smooth global transactions and introducing an on-chain loyalty mechanism. The ZBU loyalty token serves to incentivize and reward partners within the ecosystem for their active participation.

At the core of Zeebu’s ethos lies a steadfast commitment to revolutionizing finance and fostering sustainable growth. With the introduction of the ZBU Phoenix Protocol, Zeebu reaffirms its dedication to enhancing the long-term value proposition of the ZBU token in the market. The ZBU Phoenix Protocol, inspired by the symbolic cycle of rebirth and renewal associated with the phoenix, is meticulously crafted to strengthen the ZBU ecosystem’s health and stability.

The ZBU Token Burn Program is designed to systematically reduce the total supply of ZBU tokens, thereby enhancing market stability and fortifying the foundation of the Zeebu ecosystem. Through a carefully calibrated auto-burn mechanism, Zeebu will dynamically adjust the burn quantity based on consumption patterns and market prices, ensuring a balanced approach to token management.

Transparency and accountability are at the forefront of Zeebu’s operations. Each token burn event will be meticulously recorded and publicly accessible on the blockchain, providing stakeholders with full visibility into the process. Additionally, a portion of the tokens from the accumulated burning pool will be allocated towards new initiatives, further enriching the Zeebu ecosystem.

“The ZBU Token Burn Program reflects our commitment to innovation and sustainability in the decentralized finance space,” said Raj Brahmbhatt, the CEO and Founder of Zeebu. “By implementing this initiative, we aim to ensure a stable market presence of $ZBU token, while also promoting ecosystem growth.”

As Zeebu continues to spearhead innovation in the realm of decentralized finance, the ZBU Token Burn Program serves as a cornerstone of its strategic vision. By reducing token supply systematically and transparently, Zeebu is poised to create a more resilient and prosperous financial ecosystem for all stakeholders.

Zeebu is gearing up to release more specifics about the timeline and quantity for the ZBU token burn. The comprehensive information about the Phoenix Protocol can be found here.

About Zeebu:

‍Zeebu, the pioneering Web3 Neobank, having settled more than half a billion in telecom transactions, is quickly emerging as a trusted payment and settlement partner for global telecom businesses. The platform, currently serving over 100 active telecom carriers, is revolutionizing the industry with the introduction of blockchain-based settlements and the ZBU loyalty token. The ZBU token is designed to facilitate instant and secure global transactions and reward participants for successful settlements on the platform.

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una Messenger: The Omnichain Communication Platform For a Truly Unbound Universal Blockchain Ecosystem

Crypto Chain Wire

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  • New, evolved iteration of “PAPYRUS” token-gated messenger creates and links vast communities connected through tokens within the blockchain ecosystem
  • Upcoming “una Swap” feature facilitates asset swaps across multiple chains in a single transaction; “mudskipper” function automatically acquires native coins required to complete each transaction
  • unagi Naming Service (uNS) replaces lengthy wallet addresses with a unique personalized identity

una Messenger, the new, evolved iteration of the “PAPYRUS Messenger” token-gated communication platform, was revealed on February 11 by leading global web3 developer Wemade as the comprehensive communication platform of the WEMIX Foundation “unagi” omnichain initiative. unagi (shorthand for “Unbound Networking & Accelerating Growth Initiative”), pioneers the mass adoption of blockchain by seamlessly integrating diverse blockchains and services. 

Unbound and transparent communication

Going beyond its origin as a platform for WEMIX-based communities, una Messenger creates and links vast communities connected through tokens within the blockchain ecosystem. una Messenger offers both official channels for each token that any holder can join and private channels that are accessible based on each holder’s digital assets where you can chat about tokens, NFTs, and other various topics. This innovative communication approach for exchanging opinions and assets is done by connecting all blockchain networks and digital assets supported by unagi through either una Wallet, WEMIX Wallet, PLAY Wallet, or Wepublic Wallet.

The first step as una Messenger begins with the integration of Wepublic Wallet and DAO. The Wepublic platform launched by Wemade, which utilises blockchain technology, is a platform that allows users to create and transparently operate their own decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs). With the inclusion of the Wepublic Wallet to the existing supported wallets, all DAOs active within Wepublic can now establish new communication channels using una Messenger. Moreover, SBT(Soul Bound Token) issued within DAOs will serve as Proof of Qualification for entering DAO channels in una Messenger, facilitating more active communication between DAO members in each channel.

una Messenger also promises to deliver much more vivid and meaningful communication via the upcoming live streaming chat feature. Live Streaming will not only help boost interaction and engagement between users, but also build and expand the shared communities connected through una Messenger. 

New omnichain interactive DeFi features

The upcoming “una Swap” feature facilitates asset swaps across multiple chains in a single transaction. Now, both ideas and assets can be easily exchanged across all chains within the networks supporting the unagi initiative including Arbitrum, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Ethereum, Optimism, Klaytn, Kroma, Polygon and WEMIX3.0. 

una Swap 2.0 will introduce the “mudskipper” function designed to streamline asset transfers across multiple chains while alleviating concerns about possessing network-specific native coins required for gas fees. Simply put, “mudskipper” will automatically process cross-chain swaps and transactions by acquiring the native coins required to complete each transaction.

Another una Messenger innovation, the unagi Naming Service (uNS) will revolutionise user experience by providing a convenient solution that allows users to replace lengthy wallet addresses with a unique personalised identity. This not only simplifies asset exchanges but also fosters a more engaging communication environment.

With the introduction of innovative features like una Swap and live streaming, and a novel approach to omnichain interactive DeFi, una Messenger has evolved into a unified communication platform that enables the creation of immersive and dynamic user experiences. una Messenger is the one and only communication platform for a truly unbound universal blockchain ecosystem.

Download una Messenger from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, or visit www.unamessenger.com for more information.

About Wemade 

WEMADE aims to accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain technology, and is building through its WEMIX subsidiary, an experience-based, platform-driven, and service-oriented mega-ecosystem. Based on the WEMIX3.0 Mainnet, the WEMIX ecosystem features a wide spectrum of intuitive, convenient, and easy-to-use Web3 protocols and services. www.wemade.com / www.wemix.com/communication 

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