“The Ethereum smart contract platform has created a new phenomenon of decentralized investments through initial coin offerings (ICOs), and in the wake of the hype at the end of 2017, people easily parted with their coins in the hope of getting huge returns through these ICOs. Scammers took full advantage of this willingness, as well as the syndrome of missed opportunities – they created phishing sites with fraudulent investment offers, where users left their personal data,” the authors of the report write.
Such fraudulent schemes are inherent not only in Ethereum, but since 82% of all ICOs are held on this platform, it quickly became a favorite among scammers, the researchers also note.
At the same time, phishing remained the most profitable fraudulent method throughout 2017 and 2018.
However, if in 2017 it accounted for more than 88% of all fraudulent schemes, then in 2018 this method became less effective, and its success rate has already decreased to 38.7%.
The other most popular methods of taking coins (and we are talking about millions of dollars on the air) were the disappearance of the organizers of the ICO (31.5%) and Ponzi schemes (financial pyramids) – 15%. Another fairly common method was malware infection.