The Ryan Gosling ICO Wasn't the First with a Fake Team. Protect Yourself.

The Ryan Gosling ICO Wasn’t the First with a Fake Team. Protect Yourself.

If you’ve been following crypto on social media recently, you’re probably aware of the ICO that fraudulently used a picture of Ryan Gosling in their team portrait page. As funny as this is, it’s not an isolated incident. Denizens of the cryptoverse must remain vigilant. 

Also see: Ethereum Foundation Announces First Grants for Promising Projects

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A Growing Problem

On March 3rd, the Canada-based Financial and Consumer Services Commission released an alert for an eerily similar problem — a scam ICO site purporting to be a “bitcoin vault service” called Bitcoin-Bank.

The site was unregistered in Canada, which is what raised the initial alarm, but upon further investigation the agency found that portraits for the ICO’s team were stock images, in the style of the (now infamous) Miroskii:

It seems that this phenomenon may be more widespread than initially thought.

Because reverse image searches are such a low effort test for authenticity, it’s best for potential investors to take the time to use this resource to ensure the people behind the tokens actually exist — at least until ICO scam sites start disabling right clicks and photoshopping their source portraits, that is.

How to Make Reverse Image Searches Easy

While reverse image searches aren’t the hardest thing to do, there are small add-ons for most modern browsers that help to streamline the process. I recommend Reverse Image Search for Firefox and RevEye for Chrome.

reverse image search

Once you have one of these add-ons installed, simply right click the portraits of the scrutinized team members and see if they are who the ICO says they are. While this may be a reductionist assumption, I’m confident in asserting that there are very few if any programmers that are also part-time stock photography models.

There’s really no telling if an ICO launch is going to exit or follow through in the first place, but reverse image searching serves as a decent litmus test with a low rate of false positives if a project seems sketchy.

How about you? Have you ever come across an ICO you were certain was a scam? Sound off in the comments below. 


Images via RevEye, Digital Spy

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