3 Types of Discord Gift Scams To Be Aware Of In 2022
Discord has become one of the hottest platforms out there. The app has taken off in the last year during the pandemic, but, unfortunately, so did the Discord gift scams. One of the most prevalent is known as the Discord Steam scam and is pulled by a giveaway bot.
To put it into perspective, there are over 350 million users and 6.7 million Discord servers. As you can see, that’s plenty of room to hunt for unsuspecting victims targeted for their interest, amongst others, in Steam. It’s like fishing in a barrel. Let’s get into it.
The most common Discord gift scams are known for taking advantage of the popular platform Steam. If you are reading this article, you probably know what that is. Let’s take a deeper look at some fraudulent practices exposed by a couple of experts in detecting Discord scams.
Running a public Discord server without adequate spam protection is a recipe for disaster. For example, here are some of the issues that Travis Vocino faces on his platform, StratsCo, a discoverable public server focused on MMORPG games.
1. Discord Giveaway Bot & Steam Gift Cards
“Since we do give away legitimate Steam gift cards, we have to be diligent about this,” says Travis. Scammers join the server using a botnet and message all members with a fake link. The links look legitimate and have Steam graphics.”
“Usually, the links are masks to look like they read some form of “Steam Gift Card Winner” in the URL as well. When a member clicks this link, the site asks for their Steam username and password to redeem it.”
“Of course, this goes directly to a database that gets sold to others or used to funnel gifts from the user’s connected wallet.”
The Discord gift scams are not alone in the gaming ecosystem. The Discord Nitro scam is similar to this one, but here is more.
2. Dating Site Spam and DMs
In the early days of opening up his server, Vocino also experienced a few bots sending DMs designed to look like real people. They would have a basic script that would direct you to a “better place to chat” after two lines or so.
“I have a gift for you” may be the bait scammers use to lure people into a different chat.
“This link asks you to connect your Discord account by entering your username and password”, says Vocino. Of course, once you do that, your account is compromised.
3. Be Aware of Self-Promotion
Self-promotion spam is almost worse than bot spam because it comes from real people. So the Discord gift scams become easier to fall for because they seem more legitimate. Lately, this approach has been used in the Discord Crypto Scam.
“As your server gains traction, the audience becomes very appealing to those promoting their own servers or their game streams,” says Travis.
“Typically, these users will say nothing or very little except to drop their links in a conversation weekly or even daily. Users who have not gained trust and reputation on the server should not have permission to promote. Ideally, you want to give this access programmatically as the user participates.”
How To Protect Yourself From The Discord Giveaway Bot
Here are some recommendations for servers dealing with spam using the Discord giveaway bot:
“What we’ve found works the best to cut off scamming straight away is a block on Discord account age. Currently, we quarantine any accounts that are younger than one week old. Given Discord’s popularity in our gaming segment, this is reasonable. However, if your server was in a new space like crypto or education, you may find many users joining who create a Discord account to connect. This would result in countless false positives.”
“Another recommendation is to protect your member listing. Don’t let brand new users see your entire list of members. It serves as an easy spam to-do list for scammers. Instead, grow a user’s trust as they participate.”
What Else You Can Find Beside The Discord Steam Scam
While Discord is a somehow secure video communication platform, there will always be a chance that its users get scammed or conned by many unscrupulous individuals lurking on the internet.
“A few months ago, I had the experience of being bombarded by spamming bots while on a channel. The spam messages vary. In one instance, I got spammed with free game offers and discount links, and in one instance, I got Discord phishing links with fake log-in screens”, says Victoria Mendoza, from MediaPeanut.
The Discord gift scams could be avoided easily. Aside from the above-mentioned Discord Steam scam advice, Mendoza has a few more suggestions.
“If you are the gullible type or a kid using your parent’s laptop in one of your random Discord chats while staying focused on a video game, there’s always that possibility of clicking on a malicious link or entering private information on a fake log-in.”
“There are also dubious downloads, access to free games like Twitch and Nitro, and even adult sites, listed on some Reddit discussions. After clicking one of those bait giveaway links, victims lose money, access to gaming accounts, and other data privacy issues. There are also examples of cryptocurrency lures that are typically the same as the others mentioned only that bots bait users into gaining bitcoin funds.”
Discord Gift Scams
“Words of advice, if the free offer or giveaway is too good to be true, don’t ever fall for it! Who would give away something for free without gaining something in return nowadays? Many Discord users are often aware of these scams but still fall for them. I mean, it is second nature for humans, even the intelligent ones, to fall for these sometimes sophisticated and convincing ways to bait other people into a scam”, says Mendoza.
If you feel a Discord-related website might be suspicious, you can now verify it using our Scam Detector website validator below:
How To Report a Scammer
Let your family and friends know about the Discord Steam Scam by sharing this article on your social media. You can also officially report Discord scammers and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious schemes every week (not just Discord gift scams), feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – no spam.
Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other Discord fraud-related articles right under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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