Discord is a hugely popular platform for online communities, digital creators and businesses, and socializing in general. But, like any other social media platform, Discord is often targeted by cybercriminals to swindle users out of their personal information or money.
Here are six scams Discord users need to be aware of.
1. Fake Giveaways
Giveaways are pretty commonplace on Discord, which is why scammers often create phony versions to trick users into divulging personal information.
In this scam, a user will impersonate a trusted individual or well-known user. Then, they will message you behind this facade and tell you that you’ve won a giveaway. Alternatively, cybercriminals will create giveaway bots that automatically contact users claiming that they have won a giveaway. If you haven’t entered any kind of giveaway, be mindful that this is almost definitely a scam. But even if you have entered a competition recently, you should still be cautious.
Scammers will then usually provide you with a link that they say will allow you to claim your prize. Such links will often lead to a webpage that will request certain information from you to process your alleged win.
If the giveaway you’ve allegedly won is associated with a well-known company, try messaging them via their official Discord channel or on another social media outlet to confirm whether you really have won, as well as how you would be notified of it and what the claiming process looks like. This should allow you to confirm whether the message you’ve received on Discord is legitimate or not.
2. Dangerous Links
Malicious links are very common on Discord and can be used for a number of reasons. These links may be created for phishing, malware infection, or something just as harmful, so it’s important to be cautious before clicking on any URLs on Discord.
When scammers use these links, they often claim it is for a download, access to a game, a video, or something similar. They may impersonate a trusted user or simply allege that they have some sort of exclusive content that they want to share with you. In any case, you shouldn’t click on such links until you’ve verified that the individual is indeed a trusted user.
You could also copy the provided link and paste it into a link checker. These are websites that can verify whether a link is legitimate or dangerous. There are a number of free link checker sites that you can use to verify the safety of a link in seconds.
If you find yourself repeatedly being sent random links from the same user, you can report them to Discord or block them entirely so that they can no longer contact you.
3. Crypto Scams
Since the crypto boom a few years ago, scammers have been targeting vulnerable individuals within the industry to access their funds. There are a number of ways through which scammers trick users via cryptocurrency, the first being phony investment schemes.
Thousands of individuals have fallen for false cryptocurrency schemes in the past. Online scammers who imitate industry professionals, experts, friends, or even potential lovers convince users to invest their money in a crypto scheme that will allegedly give them huge returns. Of course, this is not the case, and can result in victims handing tens of thousands of dollars over to criminals.
So, if you are ever messaged about any kind of cryptocurrency scheme on Discord, avoid it. The user telling you about this scheme may bombard you with a lot of jargon and statistics to make it look more legitimate, but this by no means indicates that it really is. This is just part of the scam’s persuasion element.
However, if, for some reason, you feel like a particular scheme is a good investment, it is crucial that you do as much research around it as possible. The industry is rife with scams, many of which are highly sophisticated, so it’s incredibly important that you remain cautious with your money.
4. Fake NFT Drops
We all know how valuable NFTs can become these days, so it’s no surprise that cybercriminals are taking advantage too. On Discord, in particular, scammers host fake NFT drops to trick users into either giving away their personal information or spending money on something that, in reality, has no value.
These scams often involve links to accounts on OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace out there today. These accounts will display well-known NFTs or new NFTs from established artists at prices that seem too good to be true. In this case, they are. Users who fall for this scam will spend their crypto on fake NFTs, giving their money away to scammers before realizing that they’re buying something with zero value.
However, there are ways through which you can spot a fake NFT, such as checking its properties, the seller’s profile, or the history of the NFT. You need to know how to spot an NFT scam so that you can stay safe from this kind of fraud.
5. Free Nitro Scams
Nitro is the premium version of Discord which offers additional features, such as more emojis, bigger upload sizes, and a personalized profile. But Discord Nitro isn’t free. You’ll either need to pay $9.99 a month or $99 a year for Discord Nitro, and this is where the scammers come in.
Because a large number of Discord users would like a premium account but don’t want to splash the cash, scammers use the allure of a free Nitro subscription as the core of their con. Bots are often used to spam chats with links to this alleged free Nitro, which can then lead to users’ accounts being hacked. These compromised profiles are then used to send more free Nitro links under the guise of being a trusted user.
So, if you ever get a message about a free Nitro subscription, be aware that this is a scam. Again, you can run the provided link through a link checker to determine whether it is legitimate, or study the link yourself for spelling errors, e.g. “Disc0rd” instead of “Discord”.
6. Partner or Rep Impersonation
Impersonating a partner or representative is a very common Discord scam, in which users divulge their personal information under the assumption that they’re talking to a harmless or even helpful member of staff.
In this scenario, scammers message users from an “official” Discord account, and are offered entry to one of Discord’s community initiatives. Such messages may include a dangerous link that you should definitely not click on, as these messages are almost always part of a scam. Discord will often message you letting you know what an official message looks like, so use this as a basis from which you should assess all other messages you get from so-called partners or reps.
It Pays to Be Cautious When Using Discord
There’s no denying that Discord is an awesome platform for building communities and making connections. But this doesn’t mean it’s a safe haven. There are thousands of individuals who have already been scammed on Discord, so it’s crucial that you stay aware of the risks and keep yourself safe from the huge number of swindles circulating the platform today.
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