According to Satis Group’s research, 81% of the ICOs are fraudulent. It should be noted that ICO is a great tool to raise funds for the project implementation. However, it is used for fraudulent purposes more and more often.
Lithuania’s Prodeum project was going to introduce blockchain into the foodstuff industry. Its barcode was supposed to provide info on the country of origin and conditions in which a particular vegetable or fruit grew. However, within a week after the ICO launch, the project website disappeared. According to some estimates, some $0.45 to $6 million was collected and stolen.
Benebit was going to unify the loyalty programs of various airlines. The company spent about half a million dollars on its marketing campaign. It should be noted that this move has fully "paid off": investors lost at least $2.7 million.
Useless Ethereum Token developers have even issued a warning that investors would be giving money to strangers who would spend the funds on their private needs. Nevertheless, the ICO raised about $126,000 in Ethereum.
How not to be fooled?
Shadowy ICOs have managed to collect $851 million since 2014. In order to avoid losses, you should follow these recommendations:
dig deep into the idea behind the startup and ask yourself: “Is this product necessary? Does it solve some problems? Can people do without it”
Read the forums for the information on this project and find out what experts think about it;
learn more about the development team and take a look at their social media profiles to scan whether there are any inaccuracies in their personal information. Run a photo search in the search engines as scammers can use someone else's social media photos;
If you are a technical person, analyze the code of the blockchain project – it should be accessed openly. A good indicator is if the code has been changed for at least 3 months in a row.