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The recent cryptocurrency boom has attracted many’s attention – both investors who are looking to invest but also scammers who are looking to take advantage of people’s understanding (or not) of cryptocurrency investments, and how they work. In 2021 alone, crypto scammers worldwide had a field day last year, bringing home nearly $14 billion.

Cryptocurrency investment scams come in many shapes and forms. The one thing they have in common – they’re all full of fake promises and false guarantees. Scammers might post “airdrop” sites that look real, but you’ll find your funds and other holdings drained once you clicked “claim.” Others pretend to be popular individuals or well-respected organizations doing giveaways with claims of multiplying any cryptocurrency you send. 

On April 28, 2022, AnChain.AI’s Threat Intel team received an incident report of a newly created crypto investment scam involving ARK Invest, an investment management firm with $50 billion in assets under management. The scammers impersonated Cathie Wood, founder of Ark Invest, and created a scam website that looks similar in style to the original ARK Invest website, as shown below.

comparison between the original ARK invest and the scam website

The scam promises individuals a chance to win 5,000 BTC or 50,000 ETH, according to the scam website.

screenshot of the scam website

To participate for a chance to win the giveaway, the scammers required individuals to send either BTC or ETH to their wallet addresses. In return, individuals are promised to immediately receive twice the amount of crypto that they sent to the designated wallet addresses. 

According to domain lookup, the scam website was created on April 28, 2022, 06:10:15 GMT by a private person in Russia.

As of the time of publication, the scammer’s BTC wallet address has zero activity and the ETH wallet address has received a total of 0.2 ETH (approx. $568.26). We believe this case is worth highlighting from an educational and preventive perspective.

screenshot of AnChain.AI’s CISO investigation platform

If you’re thinking about investing in cryptocurrency:

  • Research before you invest. Scammers often impersonate a valid crypto company, exchanges, or well-known individuals. Search online for the company and cryptocurrency name, plus “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.”
  • Be wary of guarantees and big promises. Scammers often promise you’ll make unrealistically high profits on investments quickly or that you’ll be guaranteed a free airdrop. They might offer you free money paid in cash or cryptocurrency — but, even if there’s a celebrity endorsement, don’t buy it. 
  • Don’t connect your wallet address and never give away your personal information on unfamiliar websites no matter how legitimate they look. Once you connect your wallet address to phishing sites, scammers will drain everything from your wallet, and you’re unlikely to get anything back.