Kuala Lumpur, May 20: Cybersecurity experts Sophos have recently written a series of articles lifting the lid on scammers who are taking advantage of the hype surrounding cryptocurrency trading.
The first series of the article talks about the vast sums of digital wealth users have made and lost in crypto markets to lure in and swindle would-be investors.
In the article, Sophos explains how the complexity of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi), the foundations of liquidity mining, create the ideal environment for criminals to easily camouflage and carry out their malicious intentions.
Scammers are not shy when it comes to targeting their victims, they proactively spam recipients via Direct Message on Twitter, What’s App, Telegram, and other social networking platforms, and innocuously chat about liquidity mining to put targets at ease. From there, scammers escalate the swindle.
“Interactions from a single Direct Message on Twitter led to Sophos’ investigation that uncovered several liquidity mining fraud rings. Liquidity mining is a form of cryptocurrency-based investment in DeFi that even when ‘legitimate’ is both dubious and complicated,” Sean Gallagher, a senior threat researcher at Sophos said.
“The strategies behind the investments themselves are complex, and there’s no regulation beyond the ‘smart contract’ code embedded in the DeFi network’s blockchain — code that many people can’t easily interpret even when it’s publicly published.
There’s also a shortage of reliable information for new investors on how these networks work. Despite these risks, liquidity mining is the latest cryptocurrency investment craze, but because of these factors, it’s also the perfect platform for scammers to leverage.
Unfortunately, we expect liquidity mining CryptoCrime to continue, it hasn’t peaked. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.”
Above, is a screenshot of an initial stage conversation from a scammer luring a target. As spammy as this Direct Message seems, people are falling prey to what ensues: liquidity mining CryptoCrime.
How Liquidity Mining Works
Legitimate liquidity mining makes it possible for DeFi networks to automatically process trades using digital currency such as Ethereum, the preferred cryptocurrency for liquidity mining. Smart contracts built into the DeFi network must rapidly determine the relative value of the currencies being exchanged and execute the trade. Since there is no centralized pool of cryptocurrency for these distributed exchanges to pull from to complete trades, they rely on crowdsourcing to provide the pool of cryptocurrency capital required to complete a trade — a liquidity pool.
To create the liquidity pool — which handles transactions between a single pair of cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Tether — investors commit equal values of both cryptocurrencies to the pool. In exchange for lending that cryptocurrency to the pool, the investors get a reward based on a percentage of the trading fees associated with the DeFi protocol.
Investors also receive liquidity pool tokens (LP tokens) — a representation of their share of the pool. These tokens can be “staked,” or linked back to the exchange, further committing the original contribution, and earning the investor dividends in the form of another cryptocurrency associated with the DeFi project. The value of these reward tokens can vary widely.
“The mechanics of liquidity mining in its legitimate form provide the perfect cover for old fashioned swindles re-minted for the cryptocurrency age,” Gallagher said.
“Criminal liquidity mining schemes, like traditional Ponzi schemes, give targets the illusion that they can pull their money out at any time — even allowing them to make withdrawals early on. But scammers will continuously urge targets to keep investing and to ‘invest big’ by obscuring what’s really happening with fake applications, phoney profit reports and the promise of lucrative payouts. In reality, scammers have gained control of their targets’ cryptocurrency wallets and are withdrawing currency whenever they want.
“Gradually, scammers empty the wallets, all while continuing to assure targets that everything is fine, and finally cut off communications.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Editor’s Note: You can now download our app on the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, or write your next best-selling novel with our sister app Toolis, available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store or purchase something from us at www.tapiroo.com, yayaezzy.com or at lazybumskincare.com.au. Also, check out our rate card and media kit here if you would like to advertise with us on this website. Thank you!
Like What You Read?
Howdy! Thanks for dropping by and reading our stuff. DailyStraits.com is an independent website that covers all things business and entrepreneurship related. If you like what you read, a little donation from your good self will go a long way in helping us run this site successfully. Thank you!
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli