Millions of dollars have been pulled down by scammers who are faking Telegram upcoming ICO and fooling sheep investors.
Chat app, Telegram announced in December 2017 that it was aiming to embark in a cryptocurrency or blockchain venture. News of the Telegram Open Network (TON) and Telegram’s ICO was also released by the company. Around that time, some of Telegram’s confidential information was leaked onto the internet. The leaked information – including, whitepapers, ICO particulars and other details – served as a foundational platform for the scammer to create false Telegram ICO websites and make money.
You can already find in the internet leaked Telegram ICO white paper, but the most excited part for me that there are TON Storage(aka decentralized Dropbox), TON DNS(friendly account names), TON Proxy(anonymizer) #Telegram #TON #TelegramICO
— Alex Barashkov (@alex_barashkov) 11 January 2018
According to recent reports, Telegram targets for the biggest ICO ever, promising to raise $1.2 billion which may extend to $2 billion.
Although the public offering isn’t scheduled to launch until March, a lot of investors are blindly investing in these fake ICO websites.
— TheBoyCrypto (@TheBoyCrypto) 16 January 2018
A similar website Gramtoken.io made headlines after claiming itself as the host of Telegram’s ICO. The website used details from the leaked papers and therefore presented itself as a genuine site. It also provided a copy of the whitepaper. The site asked investors to deposit bitcoin or ethereum in order get the Gram token. Reportedly, the website raised $5 million before going offline.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov confirmed on Twitter that Gramtoken.io was not associated with the company.
Attention: Telegram publishes its official announcements only at https://t.co/ePcweVcGCP. Everything else is most likely scam.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) 23 December 2017
Furious investors took to Twitter and other social media platforms to take out their fury and frustration.
Some other fakes like ton-gram.io, grampreico.com and tgram.cc are still floating around the web.
“In some cases these sites even show up as top results in search. So it is extremely important that investors carefully verify the details from multiple sources before participating in a token sale.”
Many Facebook pages that did the similar fraud were taken down after being pointed out as fiddles.
A lot of people also reported that they got emails that invited them to invest in the upcoming Telegram ICO.
At the time when news about the TON project was released, Pavel Durov warned users of the potential scams and told them to rely on the company’s official broadcast channel for updates.
This is a huge lesson for all the crazy investors out there who blindly invest their money without any cautions. ICO investments are extremely risky. Till now millions have been duped either by fake ICOs or fake websites of authentic ICOs.
“The more hyped the project the more likely are scammers going to resort to phishing sites,” a crypto expert told TechCrunch.