How to Stay Safe on Crypto Discord

Written by Katherine Champagne, Marketing

Posted in: nft,

Nov 11, 2021

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One of the most exciting and terrifying aspects of being in crypto is the ability to be your own bank. We have complete control of our funds and tokens—we can do whatever we want with them, and we’re also completely on the hook if we’re hacked.

Tons of crypto communities use Discord for conversation and management, so it’s no surprise the service has emerged as a primary means through which people get taken advantage of and hacked.

We collaborated with veteran community manager Steve Brown to bring you some tips to staying safe in crypto Discord.

He recently wrote a great Twitter thread about staying safe on crypto Discords that was the inspiration for this post.

Steve is the Community Manager for Nervous, a startup that helps artists of all kinds produce compelling and successful NFT projects. Steve is also a World YoYo Champion and one-time stunt double for Owen Wilson

1. Trust no one

The Discord hack documented in the Twitter thread below is what’s called a confidence trick. A group of people will work to gain your trust, and then defraud you.

In this case, a group of people worked together to make the victim think he was about to get kicked out of a Discord he wanted to keep access to. As part of the recovery process, they asked him to share his screen and inspect element on Discord. 

Just the tiniest peek of the screen was all that was needed for the attackers to gain access to control the entire Discord server. 

The easiest way to avoid confidence tricks? Trust no stranger. 

2. Moderator and admin accounts can and will get compromised

Because confidence tricks rely on trust, the latest “trend” in crypto discords is to hack the accounts of trusted people within their respective communities. 

Be aware that even when an account is trusted—it’s still possible for those trusted accounts to get compromised.

3. If you’re a Discord moderator, enable two factor authentication

Hacks happen, but you can reduce the likelihood of them as an administrator by enabling two factor authentication on your Discord server. 

When you enable two factor authentication, none of your moderators will be able to perform any action unless they have two factor authentication enabled.

4. Never click on anything from a direct message

Generally speaking, no one who has your best interests in mind will ask you to do actions that compromise your safety. 

A trusted person will not ask you to send cryptocurrency to them, scan a QR code, message you out of nowhere and ask you to click a link, or share your seed phrase or private keys. 

Pretending to be a support representative is a common way for scammers to gain your trust and convince you to click on a link. 

Legitimate support representatives will not initiate a DM request with you if they do offer Discord support. Most big companies, such as OpenSea, do not offer support via Discord at all. 

In this scam, a person will message you and ask you to leave a rating or feedback for their game.

It’s easy to get confused by these scams, because there are real people operating them, and they will seem “normal” if you try to talk back to them. 

7. Don’t believe offers that seem too good to be true

Take a breath and think about the offer you see before taking any action. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The founder of Larva Labs did not message you at 2:00 AM offering up a Cryptopunk if you click this one link. 

Don’t let greed or the fear of missing out propel you straight into the arms of a scammer. 

Perhaps the easiest way to decrease the likelihood of getting scammed is to cut off the primary source—direct messages. 

If you’d like to be extra careful, you can turn off the ability for all servers to message you by default by toggling the option in your Discord settings as shown above. 

9. If it feels weird, it probably is

If it feels weird, it probably is. Screenshot the conversation, block the other party, and try contacting the organization or person you think you’re talking to through other official channels.

Seen a new hack you think we should add? Have feedback on this article? Let us know in our Discord, where we will never send you a DM or ask you for your seed phrase.

Discord dog illustration by William Tempest care of Ethereum.org.

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