Discord Scams

Jake Aquilina

Interlock looking to help Discord communities as crypto scams run riot

Have you ever seen a link on Discord that looked too good to be true? Well, it probably is. Discord, the popular VoIP and chat app, has been hit by a wave of scams in recent months. Hackers have taken advantage of the app's open nature to scam users out of crypto, NFTs and money. 

Read on to learn the extent of crypto and NFT scams and how to protect yourself from them. We’ll also let you know about our new product that’s on its way to help protect against these scams (yes, it’s a cyber security Discord bot).

Discord Scamming: Messaging platforms are a gold mine for scammers

Discord has become the wild west for scamming. It’s especially true with crypto and NFT projects. NFT scams have been on a rise since their skyrocketing popularity in 2021. Such projects use the messaging platform to share news and keep in touch with their community. But scamming still remains a dire reality. As Andrey Sergeenkov puts it, “Discord is a great tool to connect with like-minded individuals and engage with their favorite projects. But it's also a lightning rod for scammers.” 

According to the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, there’s been a sharp increase in Discord crypto-related scams in the past years, enabling them to use new tactics to lure victims. Hackers are increasingly targeting Discord users and victims are losing more money to these scams. 

Anyone who uses Discord can see just how many phishing attempts are made on the platform. This type of malicious attack, however, isn’t just affecting the average joe, but also those with very large communities. In May 2022, OpenSea’s (the largest NFT marketplace) Discord channel was subject to one such attack. June arrived, and Yuga Labs’s Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Discord server was hacked

The damage can also be seen with the recent compromise of the Mee6 Discord bot in May 2022, which unfortunately led many crypto projects to be invaded with scam messages on their public channels. This included the likes of play-to-earn giant Axie Infinity, amongst others. It’s important to have updated and real-time data on what could be harmful to internet users and – more importantly – protect them with it. This includes updating your community about Discord safety, along with other messaging platforms.No one is safe from such types of scams unless some form of action is taken. 

Cryptocurrency scams and frauds: Unsettling statistics

There are some dire statistics when it comes to cryptocurrency scams. The FTC reported that from January 2021 to March 2022, losses to frauds and scams relating to cryptocurrency surpassed $1 billion. This is only what was reported to the FTC. Worldwide, Chainalysis reported that in 2021, it reached $7 billion. It affected more than 46,000 people. The median loss per person was $2,600. Reported losses to crypto scams in 2021 were nearly 60 times higher than in 2018… let that sink in. 

Moreover, in the first quarter of 2022 (January to March), cryptocurrency fraud losses reached $329 million, almost half the total crypto fraud losses in 2021 ($680 million)... in a quarter of the time

What does this data tell us? If not blocked, the number of scams will continue to rise exponentially (as it’s already doing) and threaten mass DeFi and crypto adoption. As the industry changes, morphs, and adapts, so do attackers. 

Discord Security

Discord themselves are aware of such scams. In their blog, they highlight the type of scams to look out for on their platform and how you can manually prevent them. The most common types of scams are phishing scams and giveaway scams. 

With phishing scams, hackers create fake versions of popular websites and trick users into entering their personal information on these sites. They then use this information to steal money or commit identity theft.

With giveaway scams, hackers create fake accounts and promise to give away free products or services if the user sends them money. Here is a list of other types of scams to be aware of:

  • Crypto scams
  • Fake NFT drops
  • Free Nitro scams
  • Impersonation
  • Phishing links
  • Any type of malware

How to protect yourself from Discord Scams

To protect yourself or your community from these scams, you should:

  • Never enter your personal information on any website that you're not familiar with.

  • You should also be wary of any account that promises to give away free items or services. If you’re ever unsure about an account or message, you can report it to Discord's support team.

  • Keep your eyes peeled on what types of links you’re clicking on when they are sent from Discord.

  • Using password managers can also help you prevent phishing (if your saved credentials don't appear when you click on a link taking you to a questionable Discord website, it’s most likely a phishing attempt, and not actually a Discord website). However, non-browser related password managers are safer.

By taking these precautions, you can keep yourself and your community safe from these harmful scams. There is much more to say as to how the scammers on Discord work (don’t worry, we will iron out the details of it in another article). But what if there is another way to automatically chuck these malicious links out of your server to keep your community safe?

That’s right, this is where Interlock comes in. 

Discord Security Bot: Something is brewing in the Interlock laboratory 

We’re currently working on a Discord bot, Bouncer, to block malicious links and phishing sites from infiltrating your Discord public channels. With years of cyber security experience and a robust, enterprise-ready threat intelligence database (including Visual AI), we’re making sure the bot is ready for action and that every channel is safe. It’s currently in beta testing and should be released in a few days, but if you want to you can try it out.

We’re also working on a browser extension which will block out malicious links. It’ll use the same Visual AI and it will be working with our own crypto token, $ILOCK. You can keep up to date with our project by joining our mailing list

Join the Bouncer Waitlist

If you have your own crypto community which you would like to protect from scammers, you can hire Bouncer to keep the malicious links out of your party. At this moment, it is pretty simple to get access to the bot. All you have to do is post a Tweet saying: 

“Hey @interlockweb3, I would like to join the waitlist for the Discord bot! #bouncerbot”

The hashtag will help us identify who would like to use it and get back to him or her ASAP. Once you follow these steps, all the rest is in our hands to provide you with the link to the bot. 

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