Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular, it’s estimated that the number of adults who own crypto will increase by 19% by the end of 2022. Scams are common in the crypto space and uneducated users are increasingly vulnerable. Being aware of the common scams in the crypto space is the first step to avoiding them. One common scam uses crypto airdrops to gain access to user wallets or personal information.

When used legitimately, a crypto airdrop is when a company, usually a new coin or token, sends a predetermined amount of crypto to a group of wallets that have agreed to be recipients. They are commonly used as a promotional tool for new coins. Often the coins or tokens are sent to users for free or in exchange for a promotional act like tweeting about a coin or holding a minimum amount of a coin.

There are several different types of crypto airdrops. Standard airdrops where users only provide their wallet information have become less common as users can exploit the offer with multiple wallets. Often bounty airdrops, where a user completes a task, or raffle systems are used to determine who will receive the coins from a crypto airdrop promotion.

There are a few things that never occur in a legitimate crypto airdrop to keep in mind.

  • Unsolicited deposits into your wallet. Legitimate airdrops will not occur without you being notified. Be cautious as this could be the beginning of a dusting attack.
  • Airdrops that ask you to attach your wallet to a website in order to receive the coins. This is not a common practice and the website you tie your wallet to could be spoofed.
  • Capital investment as the incentive to receive the airdrop. Legitimate coins will not seek capital investments in exchange for airdropped crypto.

Bad actors may use crypto airdrops as a way to gain access to your wallet or as a way to access your personal information.

There are a few things you can do to avoid falling for an airdrop crypto scam:

  • Be vigilant about unsolicited deposits.
  • Do your own research into companies you receive airdropped coins or tokens from.
  • Check the distributing coin’s social media to verify if the airdrop is legitimate.
  • Verify the social media channels and accounts sharing information about an airdrop.
  • Consider using a separate wallet for crypto airdropped coins.

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