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Libra scammers are promoting fake ICO on Twitter

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Libra scammers are promoting fake ICO on Twitter

A Libra scam has appeared on Twitter to conduct a fake initial coin offering (ICO) of its coin LIBT. The account has existed on Twitter since 2018, but data from Etherscan has shown that the ERC20 token was created on Jan. 26. While the scammers claim more than 200 ETH has been raised privately, the address the investments were sent to shows that most of the incoming transactions were empty.

Scammers impersonate Libra on Twitter, claim to conduct ICO for LIBT token

Screengrab of the Twitter account responsible for the Libra ICO scam

Screengrab of the Twitter account responsible for the Libra ICO scam

The fact that the future of Facebook’s Libra is yet to be decided didn’t stop scammers from trying to profit from the initial hype surrounding the token. A Twitter account named Libra, with the @CoinLibraToken handle has been conducting a fake initial coin offering (ICO) of the LIBT token, requesting payments in Ethereum (ETH) from its followers.

Libra’s scam account has been on Twitter since March 2018, but rumors about Facebook’s potential token haven’t begun circulating until the second half of 2019. There hasn’t been any activity on the account before Jan. 25 and the smart contract for the launch of the LIBT token has been created on Jan. 26.

Overview of the contract that created the LIBT ERC20 token

Overview of the contract that created the LIBT ERC20 token. (Source: Etherscan.io)

The account’s first tweet announced the “relaunch of Facebook Libra,” saying it was a “simple global ERC20 token” with a total supply of 500 billion.

If the abundance of spelling and grammatical errors didn’t raise any red flags, the broken mathematics of the pre-ICO certainly did. According to the Twitter account, investing 0.1 ETH would translate into 300 million LIBT, while investing 0.5 ETH would yield 3 billion LIBT. Those that send 1 ETH to the listed address would be entitled to 30 billion LIBT and those that send 2 ETH would get 100 billion LIBT thanks to the generous bonuses.

Screengrab showing the “bonus” scheme of the fake LIBT ICO

Screengrab showing the “bonus” scheme of the fake LIBT ICO. (Source: Twitter)

Empty transactions, private investments, and fake followers

Analysis from SparkToro has shown that more than 40 percent of @CoinLibraToken’s 12,000 followers are fake. While it’s hard to distinguish actual engagement from an artificial one, the declining amount of comments, likes, and retweets could indicate that it has been manipulated.

According to data from Etherscan, the address investors were instructed to send their ETH investments to has had a total of 39 transactions, with most of them being inbound ones. Almost all of the inbound transactions have been empty, save for a couple that has cumulatively sent in less than $2 worth of ETH.

Fraudster claim that they have raised 3 ETH in the public sale is backed by data from Etherscan. However, a closer investigation has shown that transactions of 1 and 2 ETH have both come from the same address that had little other activity.

Screengrab showing all activity for address responsible for most of the scam payments

Screengrab showing all activity for address responsible for most of the scam payments. (Source: Etherscan.io)

Initial research into the matter showed that the LIBT token and the @CoinLibraToken account are conducting a scam. However, it seems that little damage has been done so far and that the scammers haven’t been able to amass any significant amount of money from investors on Twitter. We are yet to see whether the dozens of Ethereum addresses shared by the account’s followers lead to any thefts or hacks.

Posted In: , , Analysis, Hacks, Scams

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Priyeshu Garg

Priyeshu is a software engineer who is passionate about machine learning and blockchain technology. He holds an engineering degree in computer science engineering and is a passionate economist. He built his first digital marketing startup when he was a teenager, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies along with smaller firms. When he is not solving transportation problems at his company (Ola), he can be found writing about the blockchain or roller skating with his friends.

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