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Chinese Authorities Arrest Individual for StarkNet Airdrop Fraud

TL;DR

  • Chinese police arrested Lan Mou for using fake identities to illegally claim over 40,000 StarkNet airdrop tokens, which were then exchanged for Tether worth over $91,000.
  • StarkNet’s 700 million STRK token airdrop aimed to reward community members but was exploited by airdrop squatters, leading to widespread eligibility concerns.
  • The incident highlights recurring issues with airdrop fraud in the cryptocurrency sector, emphasizing the need for improved security and fair distribution practices.

In Guangdong province, China’s authorities have arrested a person who manipulated the process of identity verification to claim StarkNet (STRK) airdrop rewards illegally. 

The suspect, Lan Mou, employed false identities to enroll in StarkNet’s Early Community Member Program (ECMP) more than forty times and illegally collected over 40,000 STRK tokens, according to a local report.

Subsequently, these tokens were moved to an OKX wallet and changed to Tether for an aggregate sum exceeding $91,000. The arrest was made on April 25, and a computer and two mobile phones supposedly employed in the scheme were taken by the police.

StarkNet’s Airdrop and Eligibility Issues

StarkNet, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution, started an airdrop of 700 million STRK tokens on February 20 towards Ethereum stakers, developers, and other contributors within the Web3 space. The project sought to recognize the active part of the community and to strengthen the network development. However, the distribution was fraught with several obstacles as it became interesting to airdrop squatters—people who create many accounts to claim a huge amount of tokens. Banteg, a developer from Yearn.Finance pointed out these problems a few days after the airdrop, including the fact that many of the 1.3 million eligible addresses are associated with suspicious Github profiles.

Precedents of Airdrop Misuse

The misuse of airdrops has been around in the cryptocurrency industry for quite some time. In March, the same tactics were seen in the case of the Arbitrum (ARB) airdrop. The airdrop hunters moved tokens of value $3.3 million from 1,496 wallets into just two wallets. Such events represent persisting weaknesses in digital token airdrops in the areas of identity verification and the prevention of fraudulent claims.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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