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True Story: How Reading an Article Lead Me to Lose $1000 in 1 Second

Scott Debevic· 5 min read

Crypto has a way of making many of us feel stupid. Greed, desperation, fear of loss, fear of missing out, and various other emotions drive us to regret decisions. Sometimes, it’s our fault. We look back and think, “I told myself to sell at this point and take money off the table when it hit this price, but I didn’t.” Or, “why didn’t I invest in that project when it was $x.xy? I bought this shitcoin instead.”

Other times, it’s not entirely our fault. We trust centralized lenders and exchanges to take custody of our crypto and act with minimal amounts of responsibility and due diligence. We are witnessing this in real time with the collapse of FTX and the recent failures of Celsius and Voyager. Misleading and devious leaders headed all.

And then, sometimes, it’s a combination of being our fault and getting scammed. Some examples of this are sharing our private keys, doing an exchange with a stranger we met online, or investing in projects promising unsustainable returns.

I am writing this article to share my experience and to try warning readers scammers, and, hopefully, you avoid falling victim to the same scam I fell for. I feel dumb that I fell for this scam. In hindsight, I’d argue I was idiotic. But I also got conned, so I won’t absorb all the responsibility.

So let’s get to it, so you don’t fall victim to this same asshole on this platform.

The Article

The article I got conned from got deleted. I reported it and put in the responses that it was a scam. However, I came across the same scammer in an article that came into my feed yesterday. The article is almost entirely identical. I won’t include the link because it will probably disappear, and I don’t want anyone to mistakenly become a Mark as I did by clicking on any of the live links.

Scam Article from Medium

The article I fell for said $100K in 5 months, so clearly, the scammer promises even bigger rewards. You’ll notice that the writer has 4.7K followers to give the image he is credible. I’ve written consistently for nearly two years and don’t have this many followers.

The article continues by providing a believable promise that this “developer” has figured out. But, unfortunately, while I have no doubt this person is a skilled developer, they intend to rob crypto from you.

Bait to draw you into the scam

The conman continues by sharing the proceeds in his wallet. I imagine these are funds stolen from other unsuspecting individuals.

Image of the wallet used in the scammer’s article

The author goes on by sharing his personal story and why he is a good guy and sharing this “secret” with the Medium community. Feel free to read it in case you come across a similar story in your feed.

Text explaining the scammer’s “motivation.”

Finally, the article I clicked on had hundreds of claps and dozens of positive responses. However, the author has turned responses off in this article. I went to mark it as a scam but was not allowed to add a reply.

How the scam works

When I clicked on the link to the video, it brought me to YouTube. There’s an eight-minute video showing the viewer step-by-step how to “create” this bot. Like an idiot, I followed it verbatim.

By following the directions, I created a contract on Ethereum. I was instructed to add ETH to the contract and hit the start button to activate the bot. I initially added 0.25 ETH to the contract to test it out. However, when I saw the 0.25 ETH on Etherscan, I decided to add 0.5 ETH. After all, the bot would be more profitable if I had more funds (or so I thought).

Next, I hit the start button. My Ethereum disappeared from the contract. When I returned to the bot to claim, there was no claim button. My funds were gone. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just reach out to the writer on Telegram.” After all, he included his Telegram link in the article.

When I hit the Telegram link in the Medium article, which brought me to the same page on Medium, I thought, “Oh shit. That motherfucker!” My funds were gone, and I have left with a feeling of stupidity…again.

Why did I fall for this scam?

The scammer’s article is short, written in proper English, and appears credible. I gained trust by seeing the comments, the number of followers, and the handclaps. Further, when I clicked on the YouTube video, it was narrated by a native English speaker and grammatically correct. The YouTube instructional video had thousands of views, positive comments, and thumbs-ups.

I have also been reading about bots and their ability to beat the markets. So the narrative was already fresh in my mind. So I figured I could give this a shot.

Finally, I have been losing money in the markets lately—my desperation to win caused me to make a wrong decision. My greed and emotion overtook my logic, costing me $1000 worth of ETH.

Key Takeaways

After reporting the scam article I fell for and adding a response that it was a scam, I felt like I did my due diligence. Somebody removed the article, and I figured it was a painful $1000 lesson.

But, after coming across nearly the identical article again in my feed yesterday, I feel compelled to share my experience. If this prevents one reader from falling for this scam, then it is worth taking the time to write this and you reading this.

As you read my article, you may place the entire blame on the author for my stupidity. That is valid, and I own that I fell for what is an obvious (right now) scam. However, it’s essential to know that scammers aren’t only on Telegram, YouTube, or Discord. They are also here on Medium, and we all need to remain vigilant!

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