For those of you a little behind with the times, Telegram is a multi-million dollar ICO, started by Pavel Durov. The ICO has done incredibly well and actually broke the record for the highest-grossing ICO- with the company making just under $2 billion in the first two of its presales. The service it provides is a messaging app that incorporates all the best aspects of similar platforms but without the worry of having your sensitive information accessed by outsiders. It basically combines all the very best features of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram in one integrated and Blockchain-backed platform.
But unfortunately, Telegram has fallen prey to a phishing scheme, which is ever-prevalent in the world of Cryptocurrency. Phishing schemes involve phonies or imposters acting as certain companies or the CEO of certain companies in order to siphon funds into their personal bank accounts, and that was the case for Telegram.
An imposter, who registered a Twitter handle under Telegram’s official name created a post stating that Telegram’s founder, Pavel Durov, had registered a new company worth $800,000 and had officially become a British citizen- with links to the fishy business which was similar in theory to Telegram. While unassuming as this may seem, this was the perfect setup to a scam. With a following as big as Durov’s, thousands would flock to any venture that he was a part of and a fake ICO in Durov’s name would be the perfect way to make millions (don’t get any ideas now, you don’t want to be one of the bad guys).
Luckily the journalistic page, the Calvert Journal, tweeted about the ‘news’, unknowing that it was fake at the time, thus alerting the real Telegram people. The real Telegram immediately made sure that their loyal following knew that the news was fake and no such new company has been registered in their founder’s name. And if you haven’t heard that news yet, here it is!
It is very easy and cheap to register a company in the UK, and while there were some definite warning signs displaying the fake company’s fakeness, the average person could easily be forgiven for believing the scam. With Telegram’s booming popularity and Durov’s new found wealth, it would make perfect sense for him to start up a new company in the UK.
As Telegram makes the necessary plans to launch the final phase of their already very successful ICO it’s advised that all individuals looking to invest, buy coins and tokens and generally become a part of Durov’s new legacy do so with a watchful eye. While we have no doubt that Telegram itself is legitimate, we do worry that there are many fraudsters looking to jump on the bandwagon of their successes and fool some unassuming victims along the way.
The best you can do to protect yourself from such scams is to be skeptical about anything you read on the internet and always proceed with caution and care. Doing some background research works wonders.