Honeypot Scams: The Allure and the Catch

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Honeypot scams are elaborate cyberattacks carried out via decentralized sensible contracts. These contracts had been initially meant to facilitate decentralized transactions on the blockchain, however should not being misused by scammers. They design some clauses in them to defraud harmless individuals after luring them with the prospect of unbelievably excessive returns. The individuals who purchase such cash discover themselves unable to promote them later and find yourself being caught with them.

On this article, we’ll inform you all we find out about it and how one can shield your self, however first, let’s begin with a real-life honeypot rip-off and see the way it unfolded.

Introducing Honeypots: The Case of the Pretend MetaMask Token

MetaMask is probably the largest crypto pockets supplier on the planet. With greater than 10 million month-to-month energetic customers, MetaMask has grown by leaps and bounds over the previous couple of years. Its ease of use, versatility, and integration with most cash on common exchanges make it a sensible choice for anybody on the lookout for a dependable on-line crypto pockets.

Therefore, it got here as no shock when MetaMask introduced the launch of its native token, MASK, on exchanges. Individuals had been offered. They had been eagerly ready to lap up MASK tokens as quickly as they arrived out there.

Seeing the anticipation and enthusiasm of patrons, a number of scammers determined to whip up a pretend token on the favored DeFi buying and selling platform DEXTools and promote it as the true deal. They exploited a loophole within the platform’s code to persuade individuals of the token’s legitimacy.

Patrons started shopping for up the token very quickly, solely to find that shortly that they weren’t capable of promote them. That is exactly what a honeypot rip-off seems to be like.

Honeypot scams contain a lure and a catch. Unsuspecting individuals change into celebration to the sensible contract, solely to later notice that their funds have been illegally drained by the creator of the contract. Earlier than they comprehend it, the cash is siphoned into an account that’s unrelated to the mission and inaccessible to customers.

Within the case of the MetaMask token, the scammer coded the sensible contract to stop individuals from promoting their tokens as quickly because the WETH/MASK pair hit greater than $1 million in liquidity. As soon as it did, unlucky patrons who had been nonetheless holding tokens discovered themselves out of their cash.

By the tip of it, the scammer transferred over 475 ETH (price greater than $1.8 million on the time) to an unconnected tackle. That was it. The authorities are nonetheless on the lookout for the perpetrators nevertheless it’s been 4 months, and there aren’t any leads but.

A rip-off of this nature entails luring traders into changing into events to sensible contracts that look promising at a look however comprise hidden traps on the backend. That’s why they’re known as honeypots.

Levels of a Honeypot Rip-off

The explanation why honeypot scams are so frequent is that an attacker doesn’t want specialised information to make a sensible contract of this type. A daily blockchain person with common abilities might additionally pull this off. A honeypot operation normally consists of a pc, a bunch of pre-designed sensible contracts, and a public community.

Right here’s how a typical honeypot rip-off works:

  • The attacker creates a fraudulent sensible contract and legitimizes it to draw customers. This might be carried out by working an advert marketing campaign, launching the rip-off on trusted platforms, or making use of pop-ups to persuade customers.
  • These sensible contracts are normally baited with incentives for patrons. For example, within the MetaMask rip-off, the motivation was straightforward cash in case there was an enormous short-term rally.
  • Solely after patrons put their cash into the honeypot do they notice that they’ve been taken benefit of, as a result of their capital turns into inaccessible shortly. They’re caught as they’ll’t promote the tokens or get their cash again into their wallets with out the permission of the creator.
  • The attacker makes use of the rising liquidity to pump costs and ultimately promote a big proportion of their holdings at an enormous revenue.

The act of pumping costs illegitimately earlier than promoting a big holding and disappearing with the funds known as a “rug pull.” Patrons are typically left with a worthless asset when creators pull the rug with out warning.

rug pull is normally probably the most integral element of a honeypot rip-off. Whereas there are different varieties of scams that don’t contain a rug pull, most do. It is rather essential for traders to know what this seems to be like and attempt to keep as secure as they’ll.

Suggestions To Keep away from Honeypot Scams

One of many predominant traits of a honeypot rip-off is the lack of patrons to promote the tokens bought. The sensible contracts used are designed to stop promoting as quickly as a preset threshold in liquidity is achieved. Therefore, one of the crucial fundamental exams patrons can carry out earlier than buying a token is to examine its buying and selling historical past.

If patrons have been capable of promote or purchase the coin at any worth level up to now, the mission is one step nearer to being real. Different steps embrace:

  • Gauging whether or not the mission “ensures” unrealistic returns.
  • Checking if the token has a major social media presence throughout open platforms like Reddit or Twitter.
  • Ensuring that the official web site of the token is safe.

If a URL begins with https:// as a substitute of http://, it’s typically thought of secure to make use of. This, nevertheless, doesn’t assure absolute safety.


Honeypot scams have gotten extra frequent as increasingly persons are starting to dip their toes into crypto waters. Dependable exchanges like CoinSwitch supply a simple approach to purchase cryptocurrencies straight via INR with out compromising on safety however do your individual analysis in any case.

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