Telegram is all set to launch its much-anticipated TON network soon. However, scammers have already started to flood Facebook’s Russian pages with investment scam advertisement using Telegram Founder Pavel Durov’s photos. The news about the scam was first published by a local media outlet, Kommersant.
Fraudsters reportedly circulated a paid ad campaign sponsored under a page called “Successful Investor,” with the link on the page directing users to another fake website made to look like a Russian news website, RBC. On the fake RBC website, there is an article made to look like an investigative piece, giving early insights into the upcoming TON blockchain launch. The fake news article contains another link which directs the user to a portal promoting fraudulent investment schemes.
The domain of the fake website was registered towards the end of August 2019, given the hype surrounding the launch of the GRAM token scheduled towards the end of 2019. Telegram had raised $1.8 billion in its ICO for the TON network.
The fraudulent investment scheme asks users to register for the program by giving their sensitive personal info and promises hefty returns of 10 to 15 thousand rubles ($150 to $240) per day, once the registration is complete.
There has been a significant surge in investment scams related to new and upcoming tokens. Libra, the nascent crypto-project of Facebook, was hit by a similar scam recently, right after its announcement, wherein scammers promised to sell Libra at a discounted price.