When the Bee Token ICO kicked off on Wednesday, thousands of investors rushed to fund “Beenest,” a commission-free home-sharing platform that aims to disrupt industry heavyweights Airbnb and VRBO.
Unfortunately, hundreds of them unwittingly fell prey to an email- and Telegram-based phishing scam targeted at prospective Bee Token ICO contributors.
Bee Token has spent the bulk of the past two days warning its ICO contributors about the scams, advising them to ignore direct communications that claim to be from the company and verify the token sale’s contract address on the official ICO website.
“The Bee Token has received reports of fake emails, Telegram accounts, etc. claiming to represent the Bee Token ICO Token Generation Event. Please note that we will NEVER EVER communicate an Ethereum address through an email or Direct Message to you via Telegram,” the company said in a post on Medium.
Despite this warning, the scammers have managed to divert nearly $1 million away from the official token sale and into their own pockets. The actual ICO, meanwhile, had raised about $2.8 million by the time of writing.
Social media users allege that there is a reason the phishing scam has been so successful.
Although the scammers may not have sent the emails from official Bee Token addresses, victims claim that the scammers had access to the company’s email list.
They base this accusation on a lesser-known Gmail trick that lets users insert a tag into their email addresses when they subscribe to mailing lists. When they start receiving emails for which they did not subscribe, they can use this tag to identify from whom a sender acquired the receiver’s contact information.
Bee Token did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the alleged breach.
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