Table of Contents Hide
With the Merge on the horizon, Ethereum 2.0 scams are becoming more and more common. The transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake is the most significant and important update since the inception of the protocol. Moreover, it’s among the most highly anticipated crypto events of the year.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, there’s a “soft” schedule in place for the Merge to occur in September 2022. Read more about the Merge in our article.
As the event looms closer, more and more bad actors are out to take advantage of the situation. There are a few common Ethereum 2.0 scams to look out for, as we cover below.
As we approach The Merge, it’s likely that we’ll see more airdrop scams. However, it’s important to understand that there are no official airdrops from the Ethereum Foundation.
Here’s how these scams work:
Bad actors send tokens to your wallet. Then, the wallet may depict their worth, leaving you surprised that you have thousands of dollars worth of a token you’ve never heard of. This is where the scam starts.
Likely, you want to sign in to your Ethereum wallet to approve the transaction and claim the airdrop. Unfortunately, this gives control of your keys over to the scammer.
Additionally, there’s an alternative version of this scam where you have to sign a transaction that sends the funds over to the scammer.
These scams are common enough that someone is bound to customize it for Ethereum 2.0 scams. Typically, they target individuals who aren’t as well-versed in the crypto field or lack industry knowledge.
For example, there are Twitter accounts that claim to be “Ethereum Support” and reach out to people. Generally, they fish for details from whoever they contact.
- Seed phrases
- Private keys
Occasionally, they also request that the user allow them remote access to their computer. Obviously, the goal is to part you from your assets.
To protect yourself, NEVER:
- Share seed phrases or passwords with anyone
- Give anyone remote access to your computer
- Communicate with someone outside of official channels
A good rule of thumb is to remember that support teams never reach out for first contact. Moreover, they never request private details from users.
Beyond Ethereum 2.0 scams, phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book of grifts. With an event as significant as the Merge, you can expect to see quite a few.
For those unfamiliar, phishing is when people attempt to steal funds through fake yet well-done prompts that appear to be official. For example, you might receive an email asking you to click on a link that goes to an imitation website. Generally, they also request that you sign over permissions or provide your seed phrase.
That information allows the hacker to steal your assets.
In other cases, they may request that you install software that hides malware. Once it infects your computer, the scammers gain access to your files.
When an unknown sender contacts you, here’s a good rule of thumb.
- Delete texts and emails from unknown numbers.
- Don’t open attachments or click links in suspicious messages.
- Never offer up your passwords or personal information.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that scammers continue to grow more elaborate. The key is to remain attentive and alert.
ETH2 Token Scams
Just as the Ethereum Foundation confirmed no official airdrops, there is no official ETH2 token. Moreover, there will never be any token introduced with The Merge.
If someone asks you to trade, stake, or mine something like this, it’s one in a long line of Ethereum 2.0 scams. Users do not have to do a swap of any sort with their ETH for this event.
Of course, it’s important to remember that there are legit tokens that may represent staked ETH. For instance, ETH staked on Lido is called stETH.
Mining Pool Scams
Currently, Ethereum uses its PoW consensus algorithm. This implies it is mined akin to Bitcoin. So, it’s likely that there are scammers looking to take advantage of this through mining pool scams.
In these scams, they make claims and remain in contact with victims for as long as is necessary. Additionally, they would try to convince the victims to join an ETH mining pool. “If you send a small amount of funds, you’re likely to generate profit!”
This lures victims into sending a large sum over to the scammer. From there, they forward it on to an unknown address and disappear.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Most offers like this aren’t legitimate. If they were, they’d be more popular.
- Before you “invest,” be sure to do your due diligence.
- Stay wary of anyone who contacts you about making money with your assets.
Stay Alert Against Ethereum 2.0 Scams
Now that you know a little more about the Ethereum 2.0 scams to watch out for, you have a better chance of protecting yourself. Remember that these massive events attract numerous bad actors, eager to scam people out of their money.
Additionally, understand that hackers grow more and more creative as time goes on. Still, all it takes is caution and diligence to protect your assets.
One last piece of advice is to employ scrutinous security when it comes to your crypto assets.