DeFi scam: Common frauds to look out for in the world of cryptocurrencies (2023)

In Brief

In order to entice users to hand over their private keys or login credentials. Scammers may set up fake websites or social media accounts that look similar to legitimate platforms.

However, it is also important for users to be aware of the risks and scams that can crop up in this space.

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Crypto enthusiasts will say that decentralized finance (DeFi) is a revolutionary new step for the financial world. This space offers users potential opportunities to make money while also contributing to a larger community-run purpose. 

DeFi Scam

However, behind all the hype, there are also plenty of risks and scams that can negatively impact users’ experience. DeFi is still a relatively new concept, so it is not surprising that scammers see this as an opportunity to prey on unsuspecting users. 

With easy-to-use wallets and platforms like Ethereum or EOS, it can be all too tempting for users to get caught up in the hype and invest their money without thoroughly researching the risks involved.

Some common scams that have been seen in the DeFi space include:

A rug pull

This is where a developer or creator will promote a project, such as a new coin or NFT release, to get as much funds as possible and then run away with investor money.

Phishing scams

Scammers may set up fake websites or social media accounts that look similar to legitimate platforms in order to entice users to hand over their private keys or login credentials. For example, a scammer might create an account on Twitter that appears to be associated with the popular platform and then promote links to fake login pages. When unsuspecting users try to log in, the scammer gets their login information and, in turn, access to their account. This can have disastrous consequences, as they can syphon funds or tokens out of someone’s account or take over the account.

Ponzi schemes

DeFi platforms can also be used to run pyramid or Ponzi schemes. In these kinds of scams investors are promised high returns for investing in a new project or token. At first, early investors get promising returns; however, their funds are not invested but rather they are paid off using the investment money scammers get from new investors. In the long term, most investors do not get the rewards they were promised and may lose all, or most of, their money when the scheme inevitably collapses.

Pump-and-dump schemes

A pump-and-dump scheme involves a group of investors who artificially inflate the price of a particular coin or token by promoting it on social media or other platforms to make it seem a promising investment, and then quickly dump it when they start to make a profit.

Social media scams

DeFi is also vulnerable to social media scams, where scammers may create fake profiles or other content promoting high returns on investments and enticing users to send them money or log-in details. These scams may be difficult to detect and can have serious consequences for anyone who falls victim.

How to identify and avoid cryptocurrency and DeFi scams

How to identify a scam

It’s almost impossible to completely avoid all scams in the cryptocurrency and Defi space, but there are some steps that users can take to protect themselves.

  • Research projects thoroughly before investing any money and be mindful of the risks involved. Look into the team behind the project, check out the whitepaper and other existing documentation, and perform due diligence on any relevant news or media coverage. Verifying the legitimacy of any project or platform can also involve reading reviews and feedback from other users.
  • Stay vigilant on social media and other platforms. Pay close attention to the content that is being shared and the profiles of those who are promoting it. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Use a reputable wallet or platform for your DeFi transactions. This will help you to ensure that your money is safe and that any returns you make can be easily withdrawn.
  • Keeping a close eye on news updates and other information about DeFi scams so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and warnings. Allowing you to take action quickly if necessary and avoid being scammed.
  • Never share your private keys or login details with anyone. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Don’t get caught up in the hype, and always take the time to read up on any projects. This will help you invest in the right project. Make informed decisions and avoid being tricked by slick marketing tactics.

Remember that you should always report any suspicious activity or scams to the relevant authorities. This will help to investigate and take action to protect other users. With vigilance, awareness, and caution, you can safely navigate the exciting world of DeFi. Scammers and fraudsters can be for the most part avoided.

What security and safety measures are in place to protect investors?

The security and safety of DeFi investments are paramount, and the industry has responded by putting a variety of measures in place. Many DeFi platforms implement smart contracts that use blockchain technology to ensure transactions are properly recorded and secure. The immutable nature of these digital ledgers makes it difficult for hackers to tamper with the code or manipulate data.


Overall, DeFi is a promising new space for users to make money and contribute to a larger community cause. However, it is also important for users to be aware of the risks and scams that can crop up in this space.

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Any data, text, or other content on this page is provided as general market information and not as investment advice. Past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future results.

Ken Gitonga

Ken Gitonga is passionate about writing. His work involves writing crypto articles on SEO, TAs, News writing, Web3 articles, crypto price prediction, and white paper drafting. Ken is a content writer and marketer. He has worked in the SEO and content marketing industries for over 3 years and has helped businesses grow their online presence and traffic.

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