Binance Co-Founder’s Identity Misused in Latest Crypto Listing Scams
The cryptocurrency community is facing a resurgence of exchange listing scams, with the latest incidents involving the misuse of Binance co-founder Yi He’s identity. Yi He, who is also the spouse of Binance’s former CEO Changpeng Zhao, has issued a public statement warning about an impersonator on LinkedIn offering fraudulent token listings in her name.
I’d like to reveal a scam which has happened quite often: I do have a LinkedIn account, but I have long forgotten the password; I am also not in charge of discussing with projects for a potential listing; please be wary of those who claim to be close to me and discuss with you… pic.twitter.com/gpIj41vx92
— Yi He (@heyibinance) January 29, 2024
The Scam Tactics
Scammers have been exploiting the reputations of high-profile individuals in the crypto industry to lure unsuspecting victims. Yi He’s statement from January 29 highlighted that she does not engage in listing discussions and urged the public to be cautious of those falsely claiming close associations for investment or listing purposes.
In a parallel development, blockchain author Anndy Lian reported that scammers impersonating Binance staff on WhatsApp have been offering free money for joining cryptocurrency discussion groups. Binance and Lian have categorically denounced these tactics.
Binance’s Response and Advice
Binance’s customer support has stressed the importance of using official links to verify the authenticity of individuals making unsolicited offers. They have advised users against interacting with non-verified sources or disclosing account details to them. This guidance is particularly relevant for investors and project developers who might be targeted by scammers demanding substantial deposits, often in Tether (USDT), for token listings. The pattern observed involves scammers creating plausible professional LinkedIn profiles and then vanishing after receiving the ‘deposit’ without listing the token as promised.
The Bigger Picture
These incidents underscore the persistent risks in the crypto market, where the anonymity and decentralized nature can be exploited by fraudsters. The misuse of Yi He’s identity is a stark reminder of the sophistication of these scams and the need for investor vigilance to maintain market integrity.
Binance has previously been involved in controversies, with its CEO Changpeng Zhao agreeing to resign and plead guilty to money laundering as part of a plea deal with the US Justice Department. This context adds to the importance of maintaining vigilance in the crypto space.
Investors can protect themselves from crypto listing scams by exercising due diligence and skepticism when approached with investment opportunities. Before investing in crypto, search online for the name of the company or person along with the cryptocurrency name, plus words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint” to see what others are saying.
You have to stay informed about the most common types of crypto scams, such as blackmail and extortion scams, fake job listing scams, and impersonation scams. If a token is only traded on a couple of decentralized exchanges (DEX), it could be a scam. Listing on a centralized exchange requires more rigorous checks. That’s why you should stick to known and reputable crypto exchange markets.
The crypto community must remain alert and verify the authenticity of individuals and offers, especially on platforms like LinkedIn where professional identities can be easily fabricated. Binance’s emphasis on using official channels for communication and the warnings issued by Yi He and others serve as a critical reminder to protect oneself from such fraudulent activities.
Angel Marinov is the Managing Editor at Coinlabz. With extensive knowledge of crypto payments and blockchain use cases, Angel is a trusted source of accurate and timely information