The scam gets people to download fake front-running bot software that steals their assets when they try to start a transaction.
Front-running scam bots are getting a lot of attention on YouTube. According to a new report from blockchain security firm CertiK, the number of suspicious videos will increase six-fold by 2022.
CertiK’s report from December 1 looks into how a wave of front-running bot scams are promising free returns of up to 10X a day, but end up taking people’s money.
Notably, CertiK’s analysis found that 84% of YouTube videos that mentioned “front running bot” were scams. The number of scam videos went up by 500% from 28 in 2021 to 168 in 2022:
“All of these videos talk about free code and making a lot of money. Successful runners won’t give away free code on social media sites; instead, they’ll sell it on underground forums for a lot of money.
People who fall for the scam are usually told to download fake bot software that will steal their assets when they try to make a front-running transaction.
Even when they are not scams, front-running bots can be a problem because they can give the person who deploys them a clear advantage over other crypto traders.
Most of the time, the bots scan blockchains for transactions that haven’t been confirmed yet. They then pay a higher gas fee to get in front of those transactions, “basically beating it to the punch and taking all the profit on offer.”
The report found videos with suspicious titles like “$15,000 Front Running Crypto Bot Leak! – 50X HUGE RETURNS!” and “Uniswap Front Running Bot 2022 – EASY TUTORIAL (Huge profits)” in which scammers give fake instructions on how to download and use the bots.
The comment sections of the videos are, of course, full of spam comments from bots that praise the content. This makes it hard to hear real comments that raise red flags because they get lost in the noise.
Recently, there have been a lot of reports of scams. On November 22, Cointelegraph said that deepfake videos with Sam Bankman-face Fried’s were circulating online to trick people affected by FTX’s bankruptcy.