This year, users reported widespread fraud in offline USDT transactions. Tactics include buying high, selling low, and inducing offline deals, often followed by false transactions and contract breaches. Some fraudsters resort to threats or violence, leaving victims with insufficient evidence for police reports and significant losses. This article aims to expose these scams and protect more people from harm.
OTC USDT Common Scams
Online Trading Scam
Bob, a newcomer to the crypto world, started by purchasing USDT on a centralized exchange. As he became familiar with the platform, he added a merchant selling USDT as a WeChat friend. This merchant often posts information about large amounts and low prices of USDT in WeChat Moments, and communicates with Bob about the dynamics of the crypto industry.
Bob conducted several USDT transactions with the merchant on the exchange. As the merchant regularly shared screenshots of off-exchange transactions on Moments, Bob gradually built trust and proceeded to engage in multiple small over-the-counter transactions with the merchant via WeChat, easing any initial reservations.
One day, Bob fell victim to a well-planned scam while purchasing a significant amount of USDT from the merchant. After transferring the USDT and making the corresponding cash payment, Bob discovered that he couldn't withdraw the funds from his wallet. The merchant, who usually responded promptly, had disappeared, and Bobi also found that the permissions of his TRX wallet had been altered, preventing him from accessing and transferring the USDT.
In hindsight, it was discovered that the merchant, using the excuse of a large transaction amount, asked to check Bob's TRX wallet and private key. This allowed the merchant to steal Bob’s private key and change the permission of his address.
The merchant seized control of Bob's wallet through the multisign mechanism on TRON, resulting in Bob losing ownership over his address. Despite this, the merchant has not yet transferred the USDT out, leaving Bob unable to report the incident to the police.
Changing multisig permission of the TRX wallet grants scammers exclusive control over the tokens. Click here to learn more about《Security Alert｜TRX multisig scams》
- Be vigilant and never share the private key and mnemonic phrase with others.
Offline Trading Scam
Tom is a practitioner in the blockchain industry. Due to personal needs, he met some merchants who provided USDT buying and selling services through friends. In the past, every transaction was completed offline by Tom with familiar business friends, and there were no problems.
However, during a substantial USDT sale, Tom conducted a face-to-face transaction with a relatively unfamiliar merchant. Following the completion of the transaction, the merchant, accompanied by a few friends, forcibly took away the cash proceeds from Tom's USDT sale and promptly fled the scene.
Upon reporting the incident to the police, Tom discovered that the merchant had deleted the wallet address and already backed up the wallet mnemonic. Despite police involvement, the case couldn't progress due to insufficient evidence linking the merchant to the receipt of the USDT.
In this type of scam, scammers take advantage of users’ demand for discounted USDT and their tendency of letting down their guard during face-to-face transactions. To avoid being scammed, users should remain vigilant when conducting transactions, verify the identity and credibility of the merchant, and exercise caution when dealing with any upfront payments..
- Be wary and don’t fall for cheap USDT and OTC trades.
- It is recommended to use major exchanges for transactions to reduce risks.
imToken Is Always Protecting Your Token Security
In November, imToken marked a total of 1,152 risky tokens; banned 1,215 risky DApp websites; and marked 17,049 risky addresses.
Additionally, if you come across tokens or DApps that appear to be risky, please promptly provide feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help prevent token losses for other users.
With scams continually evolving, it is indeed challenging for average users to fully prevent them. imToken is committed to rapidly detecting issues and finding solutions, providing timely messages to the community, and educating users about various types of scams to protect them from losses.
We encourage you to read and share imToken Wallet Security Monthly Report and join hands with imToken to safeguard your token security.