SCAM ALERT: Don’t fall victim to scammers during the Ethereum merger

The long-awaited Ethereum merge is almost here. Ethereum’s merge from a proof-of-work validation model to a proof-of-stake validation model will begin today (September 6) and will be completed around September 15. This change will reduce Ethereum’s power consumption by more than 99% and co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes it will make the network more secure in the long run.

However, scammers often take advantage of periods of change. They can use them to trick investors into sharing sensitive information or signing contracts that could cost them their crypto. Here are three ways to avoid falling victim to scams around the Ethereum merger.

1. Beware of unsolicited messages from exchanges or wallet providers.

Phishing is an increasingly common scam, both inside and outside the crypto world. Fraudsters mimic a trusted party – like your crypto exchange – and try to get you to share your information. You may receive a message asking you to click on a link that takes you to a spoofed (fake) website or installs malware on your computer.

During the merge, you may receive emails asking you to log in to activate your new tokens or to unlock the Ethereum you wagered. It may even say that your Ethereum holdings have been compromised in some way. If you receive an email claiming to be from a service you use, here are some signs that could indicate it’s a trap:

  • The email address is not quite right. It may be sent from a Gmail or Hotmail account, or the company name may be slightly misspelled.
  • It requests urgent action. Phishers want to panic you into taking action and not being as careful as usual.
  • The logo is not quite right. Maybe the color of the company logo is slightly different, or the font doesn’t look right. This is a red flag.
  • It doesn’t use your name. If you have an account with a company, they will usually write to you by name. An email with a generic “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Crypto-Currency Investor” is probably a fraud.
  • It asks you to provide your password. Customer service employees will never ask you for your password or the passphrase to start your crypto-currency wallet.
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As a general rule, don’t click on links in emails from companies, even those you have accounts with. Instead, go to the website directly from your browser or log into your account from your app. If the message says there’s an issue to be resolved, contact customer service via the website or app. You can even call their customer service and try to talk to a human, if the exchange has a hotline.

2. Wait before making any transactions related to the Ethereum fork

Some parts of the Ethereum community do not want to move to proof-of-stake. This could mean that the blockchain has to fork, i.e. split in two. It will duplicate everything that currently exists on Ethereum, and then the two chains will follow separate paths. You will then have two coins, your ETH and your ETH fork. If there are more forks, you will have even more copies of your crypto. You may be tempted to sell the forked tokens immediately, but this can be risky.

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One risk is what is called a replay attack. This would involve replicating the transaction ID of your sale of the forked ETH on the Ethereum blockchain. The scammers would create an identical transaction to steal your real ETH. The people behind the proposed fork have stated that this would not happen, but caution is still warranted.

There are other ways that scammers can trick you into selling your real ETH, when you think you are selling the ETH fork. You may think you are transacting on the forked blockchain when you are actually transacting on the real blockchain. Don’t try anything new, and don’t rush into transactions – your forked ETH will still be there when the dust settles.

3. Don’t touch anything that promises ETH2 tokens.

Once the merger is done, you will still own your ETH, and you won’t have to do anything. ETH2 does not exist and anyone promising exchanges, swaps or investments is trying to get your Ethereum from you. Also, there will be no airdrops. If you receive an airdrop, the scammer could take control of your wallet when you try to claim the rewards.

If you are contacted by someone posing as an Ethereum support agent, do not give them any information. As mentioned earlier, never share your password or passphrase with anyone, especially not with someone who contacts you out of the blue.


The best way to avoid scammers during the Ethereum merge is to do nothing. The Ethereum blockchain will merge and your Ethereum will still be your Ethereum. If there is a fork, you can also receive the tokens from the fork, but wait for the chaos to pass and let the potential scams play out before trying to do anything with those tokens.

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