Crypto Whitelist Scams: How To Avoid Fund Theft When Whitelisting Addresses

Crypto whitelist Scams
Discover effective strategies to prevent fund theft through whitelist scams in crypto transactions.

New Scam alert! In this edition of our OG Financial series “Dumb Ways to Lose Money”, we present crypto whitelist scams to watch out for. 

Let’s talk about crypto whitelist scams. For instance, scammers promise you quick access to a trending new token or coin before it hits the market. To get whitelisted, they’ll ask you to pay a “registration fee” and also ask you to provide your wallet details.

Once you pay up, you realise there’s no whitelist, trending token, or coin. Your wallet gets drained faster with every blink of an eye. These scammers never stop coming up with new schemes to turn that crypto dream into your worst nightmare.

So, folks, stay cautious! If it sounds too good to be true in the crypto world, it probably is. It’s time to stay vigilant, protect your investments, stick to your trusted and verified news sources, and stop giving the keys to your wallet to people. Read on to understand how you can avoid getting scammed.

Is It Real, Or Are You Being Lured By The “Next Big Thing?”

Meet Arjun. A tech-savvy entrepreneur on the lookout for the next big investment opportunity. He stumbles upon the “Naya Protocol,” a blockchain technology promising to revolutionise the tech industry. Intrigued by seeing their website, Arjun stumbles onto their social media pages. 

Naya Protocol announces a giveaway on Reddit. To participate, one must follow the account, like the post and share it to access the Telegram group. Upon seeing a link on the Reddit post, Arjun excitedly joined the Telegram group with a limited-access whitelist for early investors. 

The vibe in the Telegram group is exciting and filled with people discussing the benefits and predicting forecasts for the Naya Protocol. Arjun noticed something was “off” about the group. He noticed that responses seemed almost like they were automated through AI applications. 

After some time, Arjun received a personal DM from the group admin stating that he was the winner of the Whitelist spot and could claim it by clicking on the link sent by the admin. Before clicking on the link, Arjun researched the Naya Protocol on CoinMarketCap and didn’t find much information. 

Arjun has also read articles on Whitelist scams and immediately reports the Telegram group and the admin, saving himself from getting scammed by not clicking the link.

Understanding Whitelist Scams

In the world of cryptocurrency, staying informed about the intricacies of such scams is crucial to avoid falling victim to deceitful tactics.

By understanding how scammers exploit the concept of whitelisting and being vigilant against any requests for payments in this context, you can safeguard your funds and actively contribute to a more secure crypto environment.

Use Of Whitelist In Crypto

Whitelisting means making a special list of people or places allowed to join a big event called an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO. This is done to make sure everything is safe and follows the rules. During these events, projects create a list of approved addresses or individuals who are permitted to buy their newly issued digital tokens.

To get on this list, you usually need to share some personal information and documents with the folks organising the ICO. It’s details like your name, email, where you live, and an ID card. They check to make sure you’re allowed to join.

Legitimately, whitelists play a vital role in promoting transparency and security within the cryptocurrency space. They help crypto projects maintain compliance with anti-money laundering and KYC regulations by verifying the identities of participants.

Once they say you’re on the list, you can take part in the ICO and buy the new digital coins. Sometimes, being on this list means you get to buy coins before everyone else in a big sale. It’s like having a VIP pass.

In other crypto places, like trading websites, whitelisting can also be used to decide what kinds of things you can do, like which coins you can trade. It’s all about keeping things safe and organised.

Simple Steps To Participate In A Whitelist Campaign

  1. To get involved in a crypto whitelisting process, you usually start by signing up for the whitelist. This involves providing your basic information, like your name and email address.
  2. The next step typically involves verifying your identity. You may need to submit documents like a passport or driver’s licence and proof of your address, such as a utility bill. Sometimes, they’ll also do a background check or a KYC (Know Your Customer) process to make sure you’re who you say you are.
  3. Depending on the organisation and your location, you might have to submit additional documents, such as proof of your income.
  4. After you’ve provided all the necessary information and documents, you’ll need to wait for the organisation to review your application. They’ll let you know if you’re approved for the whitelist through email.
  5. Once you’re approved for the whitelist, you can participate in the token sale. This involves sending cryptocurrency, usually Ether, from your whitelisted address to the ICO’s smart contract address.
  6. After the token sale is completed, the tokens you purchased will be sent to the address from which you sent the cryptocurrency.

How Scammers Exploit The Concept For Fraudulent Purposes!

Scammers mimic the legitimate concept of whitelisting to gain trust and deceive users. They create fake projects or events and ask users to whitelist their wallet addresses to participate. Unbeknownst to users, these projects are bogus and solely aimed at stealing funds.

The Common Tactic:
Requesting Money To Whitelist An Address

  • Scammers often ask users for a fee to whitelist their wallet address, claiming it’s for administrative purposes or to verify their identity.
  • Legitimate whitelisting never requires payment; scammers take advantage of users’ lack of awareness.
  • Once the payment is made, the scammer disappears, and the promised event or token sale never occurs.

Red Flags To Watch Out For

Requesting payment for whitelisting

Legitimate projects aiming for transparency and security won’t require you to pay for whitelisting your address. If you encounter any requests for money to get on a whitelist, consider it a warning sign.

Urgent requests

Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency, pressuring you to act quickly. Authentic projects understand the importance of informed decisions and won’t rush you into anything.

Promises of high returns

Be cautious if a project promises unbelievably high returns through whitelisting. Trustworthy endeavours are built on credibility and value, not empty promises.

Lack of official communication

Projects with integrity maintain open and clear lines of communication. If you find it challenging to verify a project’s authenticity or there’s a lack of official information, it’s wise to take a step back.

Real-Life Examples

There are several recent crypto ICO scams that have come to light. One notable example is the PlusToken scam, which defrauded investors of billions of dollars.

Another is the Centra Tech ICO scam, where the founders were charged with fraud by the SEC. It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and due diligence before investing in any ICO to avoid falling victim to such scams.

PlusToken scam

The PlusToken scam was one of the largest crypto ICO scams to date. It promised high returns to investors but turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. Instead of making money, they were actually taking it from new people who joined and giving it to the older members.

This scheme creates an illusion of profitability as the initial investors receive their returns, encouraging them to reinvest and bring in more people.

It’s a bit like a game where there aren’t enough chairs, and someone is left standing without one. This scam became one of the biggest ever and swindled billions of dollars from people who believed in it.

Thankfully, some people who participated in this scam got caught and had to face the consequences. This whole situation reminds that you need to be careful when you think about putting your money into crypto projects. Always make sure they’re real and trustworthy before you decide to invest.

Centra Tech ICO scam

In the Centra Tech ICO scam, the founders made some pretty big promises. They told people they were creating a special crypto debit card that would make using cryptocurrencies as easy as using regular money. They said you could shop with it, pay for things, and do all your banking, just like you do with your regular bank card.

To make it even more appealing, they claimed that this card would have partnerships with big companies like Visa and Mastercard. So, they promised that by buying their digital tokens in their Initial Coin Offering (ICO), you’d be getting in on this amazing new way of using crypto for everyday spending. But, it turned out to be all lies.

The scammers used the ICO model to raise funds for their fraudulent project. They convinced people to buy their digital tokens with the promise that these tokens would be valuable and necessary for using their crypto debit card once it launched. This tactic was effective because ICOs were gaining popularity as a legitimate way to invest in promising blockchain projects.

The SEC conducted an investigation and revealed that the company’s statements about partnerships and the development of its crypto card were fabricated. This led to legal action against Centra Tech, and the project was shut down.

Report To Authorities Or Platforms

If you suspect or encounter whitelist fraud, report the incident to relevant authorities or platforms. This helps alert them to the scam and contributes to a safer crypto environment.
Steps to take if you’ve been scammed:

  • Secure your accounts: Change passwords and enable two-factor authentication on all your crypto-related accounts.
  • Monitor accounts: Regularly check your accounts for any unauthorised activity and report it immediately.
  • Inform authorities: Report the scam to law enforcement or cybercrime units in your jurisdiction.
  • Contact your wallet provider: Inform your wallet provider about the fraudulent activity to prevent further unauthorised access.

Verifying Platforms And Sites

To verify the legitimacy of projects, you can turn to reputable platforms such as CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko. These sites provide comprehensive information about crypto projects, including their legitimacy status. 

Always verify information from the project’s official website and social media accounts. Communities like Reddit offer insights and warnings about potential scams.


By staying cautious, you become a resilient defender of your financial future. Remember, scammers often prey on trust and urgency, but your awareness can thwart their deceitful tactics.

Investigate crypto projects properly, make sure they’re real, and don’t rush into things. If you’re ever in doubt, ask for advice from experienced guides in the crypto community who can help you stay safe on your financial journey.

Take charge of your crypto security by thoroughly verifying projects, double-checking official channels, and seeking advice from trusted sources within the community.


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