The Ethereum Merge is an exciting time for investors, developers, NFT collectors and…scammers. Bad actors will leverage any development in the crypto space for their own ends, so expect to see an uptick of scams in the coming days/weeks.
Here are some of the big ones to watch out for.
#1 Fake ETH 2.0 Tokens
The fake tokens problem is so big that the Ethereum Foundation saw fit to issue a warning. There’s some confusion around the idea that the Merge will create ETH 2.0. With this in mind, scammers posing as Ethereum Support are messaging investors offering to “redeem” ETH for ETH 2.0. Of course, the funds never materialise and your crypto is lost forever. The reality is that ETH 2.0 doesn’t exist and won’t be created by the Merge. ETH will remain ETH. There's no need to migrate, swap or otherwise redeem for new (fake) tokens.
#2 Fraudulent Airdrops
Airdrops have always been a murky area ripe for exploitation. Scammers posing as the Ethereum Foundation offer people ETH 2.0 for free, NFTs to commemorate the Merge or even a seemingly unassociated token. The catch? You’ll need to sign a wallet prompt, which will give the scammer direct access to your funds, allowing them to execute a quick drain. The Ethereum Foundation hasn’t announced a single airdrop for the Merge and isn't likely to.
#3 Mining Pool Scams
As ETH mining ends, miners will move to other chains like ETC, Monero or even Doge. Scammers are exploiting this period of transition via classic mining pool scams. They’ll contact you, promising big returns if you join a “mining pool.” At first, you’ll only invest a little and will likely see a return. This is just the scammer tempting you to invest more. When you invest big, your funds (along with the “miner” and the fake mining pool) disappear without a trace.
#4 Fake Support
Scammers posing as Ethereum Support comb social media searching for opportunities. They’ll make contact and tell you that you need to do something to prepare for the Merge. This might be converting your currency to ETH 2.0, changing your wallet or even migrating to a new chain. The end game is the same. The scammer will get you to sign wallet permissions, send them funds or even hand over your seed phrase, all under the guise of official Ethereum Support.
#5 Broker Scams
Scammers are already leveraging Merge hype by reaching out and promising to make investments on your behalf. They’ll claim to understand the markets, cite a dazzling array of previous success stories and might even send you small amounts of crypto. Don’t let Merge anticipation trick you into investing. Real brokers will never reach out over social media or email, and they certainly won’t promise quick, unrealistic gains.