att Henderson, the head of products at Aurora Labs, claims that a sophisticated over-the-counter (OTC) transaction scam is circulating that nearly duped him into losing a stash of his hard-earned cryptocurrency.
On August 5, he shared his personal experience with a scam artist known as 'Olai' with his Twitter followers.
Olai's scam entails duping a victim into believing payment for an OTC crypto transaction was received when it was not.
How it worked
Henderson explained that the crypto scam began when Olai contacted him via Telegram about purchasing AURORA tokens with USC Coin (USDC).
The parties agreed to conduct the transaction through escrow, which is a common strategy in which a trusted, neutral third party holds assets on both sides of the transaction and releases them to the counterparty once payment conditions are met.
He chose Aurora Labs' head of security Frank Braun to act as the escrow agent in this case, whom he initially referred to as "Steve" in the Twitter thread.
Matt became suspicious when his escrow partner shared a screenshot of him allegedly giving the buyer the green light to release the full amount of AURORA tokens.
He claims that the scammers cloned his Discord profile and directed Braun to release the AURORA token balance to the scammers and was unaware that his profile had been cloned. Scammers were impersonating him thanks to Discord's blocking feature.
Henderson later unpacked the intricacies of the scheme after successfully avoiding the con, warning anyone trading crypto through OTC means to exercise extreme caution and avoid falling victim to the sophisticated scheme.
According to Twitter user Scott Yeager, the scammer named 'Olai' may still be active in the community, as a person with a similar name and tactic has been spotted on Telegram.
"How interesting... I was recently approached on Telegram by an Olai Olsen attempting to initiate an OTC deal and offering USDC. Same character?"
The United States Federal Trade Commission discovered earlier this year that in 2021, nearly half of all crypto-related scams originated on social media platforms.
The FTC reported in June that up to $1 billion in cryptocurrency had been lost to scammers this year, a more than fivefold increase from 2020.