BEWARE all ICOs and ICO issuers!!!!! Part 1
Luvdub Coin recently made a public announcement for our airdrop and in less than 1 week, received submissions ranging in the thousands despite our intense KYC-AML procedure.
At this time, I felt compelled to write an article due to the alarming frequency of fraudulent activity and stolen data our verification team has witnessed in these past few days.
This article will be broken into 2 posts.
- Why ICO participants should AVOID ICOs unless they ABSOLUTELY TRUST the issuer.
- What ICO issuers need to be aware of.
This is by all means not a comprehensive list and I do not suggest that you rely solely on this article to make any decision that may have an impact on your privacy, security, or life. I, nor anyone at Luvdub Coin or Luvdub Nation Inc. can be held responsible for what you do with the information provided. You are the only person who can make sure your data and privacy is safe.
Why ICO participants should AVOID ICOs unless they ABSOLUTELY TRUST the issuer.
Here are some reasons why you might want to reconsider giving away your personal information for some “Airdrops”.
We have the bad, for example:
We have the, what the eff:
Then we have the, that could’ve passed if looked over quickly:
And finally, the artist:
Keep in mind, this is just a few of the fraudulent submissions we have received. It is estimated that somewhere between 30–40% are likely to be stolen data.
It seems that a majority of the stolen data come from Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, etc.), South Asia/Middle East (India, Pakistan, etc.), Africa, South America, and Russia. This does not mean that other countries aren’t affected but the statistics skew towards these regions.
I IMPLORE you to avoid ICOs unless you absolutely, 100% positively know who you’re dealing with. If you choose to disregard my warnings and would still like to participate in ICOs/airdrops, here are some things to consider.
Just because a site has a Green trust lock to display that they are serving content over TLS (Transport Layer Security) doesn’t mean you should trust the site. All it means is that people from outside the network cannot peer into the information being transmitted. This is still better than having no encryption at all but if the website owner mishandles your information or are outright looking to steal your data, you are SCREWED! Also realize that you can get SSL security (green trust lock/https)for free using a CDN provider.
If you’re going to hand your money/cryptocurrency anywhere, the highest level of authentication is to go with a Positive EV SSL Certificate (Extended Validation Certificate). This means the website owner has to provide their company details to a third party and get authenticated which would then show their name in the URL browser. Bear in mind, the custodians of the site/ICO are still responsible for your funds/personal information. You still must perform your due diligence regardless because having a Positive EV SSL Certificate doesn’t mean that they can’t mess up or steal your data. *Cough* Yahoo *Cough*
This number means squat! People can buy Telegram users, Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, etc. What really matters is the level of activity on their social media channels. Check their reddit, their BitcoinTalk, their Telegram channel activity. If it appears that the ICO issuer is spamming their own channels with posts and nonsense, then they’re hiding something. Be very wary of ICOs that are constantly updating with a countdown or having casual conversation. When you’re having a busy ICO, your time is limited between development, community management, regulation, legal matters, etc.
This is nonsense. Anyone can put up pictures with positions that they feel makes their project looks great. The only real way to tell if it’s a legitimate team is to have an outside source verify their credentials. And no, this doesn’t mean Linkedin with their bought connections but checking any professional licenses or reviewing previous projects. For example, if a Doctor is on the team, I would refer to their country’s agency that provides the professional license to cross reference their name or if they are a developer, I would go and review their previous work. Maybe the ICO company has been incorporated for a few years and can be searched using a government database or the ICO founders have performed several speaking engagements for large crowds.
If they only have a white paper, I would be highly skeptical. Unless their code is open source or they disclose snippets in which you are able to verify, I would be extremely cautious. Don’t let all the fancy images of their “vision” fool you either. Think, if an ICO talks more about the possibilities instead of the product, I would stay away. Show me the product/design!!!
This is a HUGEEEEEEEEE red flag. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT participate in any ICOs that offer you a huge discount/free tokens at decreasing intervals. That means getting 25% free tokens when you buy on day 1 & 2, 20% free tokens day 3 & 4, 15% tokens day 5 & 6, etc. This is a marketing tactic used to pressure you into purchasing early. Think about it. If their ICO/token is going to be valuable, why would they discount it by so much? If you were buying in bulk(private sale), Ok, maybe that might be a good reason for a percentage of free tokens/discounts but when you’re time bound? You’re dealing with marketers who are going to run away with your money and give you worthless junk in return. DO NOT DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE.
Another marketing gimmick. If an ICO says here’s a little competition, who can be the best!?! The top 5 will get a prize?!?! Stay AWAYYY WITH A TEN FOOT POLE!!!! Who wins in this competition? No one but the ICO issuer because they were able to harness your competitive spirit with your hopes/dreams of being wealthy all while handing you worthless junk. Developers should be focused on their product, not marketing BS just to extract as much value from you. Don’t give away your money. You might as well donate it to charity to make the world a better place.
Any ICO issuer who deals with residents within the European Union must comply with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Essentially, this means that they must require consent from their users, provide users’ with the right to have their data erased, limit data handling, disclose breaches, and a plethora of other rules. If the ICO has no mention of their private practices, STAY AWAY FROM THEM! Even better, see how they handle individuals in their chat groups. Do they show concern for privacy and data? That’s a tell tale sign.
If an ICO is emailing you constantly over and over with little to no substance, STAY AWAY FROM THEM! There is no reason for an ICO to be constantly messaging you if they have no development progress to be discussed or important ICO dates to be publicized. No, a message from the CEO to say hello! or to speak of some grand utopian vision does not cut it. If you get any mail, it should be worthwhile to you and provide ICO participants with new information or the occasional reminder. When you are spammed, this is how ICOs try to blind you with the allure of the “grand vision”. Did you realize you were constantly getting email, notifications, pinned messages, etc.? You NEED to get out. ASAP
If for whatever reason you do believe in an ICO and wish to participate, please protect yourself at all costs. Consider water marking your photo stating that your photo should only be used for whatever ICO URL. Also consider criss crossing lines across the image to prevent scammers from cropping out your text. Do everything in your power to stay safe. Use VPNs, tertiary emails, different BTC addresses or Eth addresses.
I apologize if I turn some people off but data theft has become too rampant within the current cryptocurrency/ICO environment and we had to do something about it. It is our belief that cryptocurrency can help bring individuals out of poverty and maintain honesty in transactions. However, the current activity of stealing data from innocent victims is detrimental to the mass adoption of cryptocurrency and we all must do something together to fix it. Please help spread the word and let us all make a standard together for all ICO issuers and participants to follow.
This has been the first part of my ICO ramble. Check out the second part in the next few days.
GET INVOLVED at www.luvdubcoin.com
Always look for the Luvdub Nation Inc. green security trust lock in your browser before submitting any information online.