Like any other online service focused around communities, there’s a lot of scams on Discord – and that’s putting it lightly. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to avoid them if you know how to spot them. Follow the link above for an in-depth guide on how to protect yourself, whether you’re a regular user or own a Discord server yourself.
Otherwise, here’s what you should expect from scammers on Discord.
Cyberstalkers Using IP Grabbers
While not specific to Discord, cyberstalkers may use IP grabbing links or scripts to determine your IP address (and thus your physical location). They may use this information in doxxing attempts, or just as a scare tactic – blackmail or cyberbullying, essentially.
As with any scam tactic, the only good way to prevent it is to not click on any suspicious links. Google’s Transparency Report tool is a great way to ensure you’re not falling for a scam link. Of course, it’s better to have a safety net (such as a VPN) in case you clicked on an IP grabber by accident.
VPNs mask your true IP and assign you a new one based on which server you connect to. Not only is this great for privacy, but you can use it to get around unfair geo-restrictions and unlock more content on Netflix and other streaming sites. Moreover, VPNs encrypt your data (scramble it, essentially) and make it impossible to read by hackers, government surveillance, or even your ISP.
All in all, they’re a great security measure on and outside Discord.
Giveaways (Gift Cards, Nitro, and More)
We love free stuff as much as anyone, but Discord is rife with fake giveaways meant to:
- Harvest your data as part of a phishing campaign
- Infect your device with malware
- Get you to pay money in exchange for “doubling” or increasing your investment in some fashion
You’ll often see scammers offering free Nitro, Steam games, in-game items (Fortnite skins and the like), gift cards, and other freebies. The scam links may be shared through DMs or on a public channel. While it’s true that public Discord servers often organize giveaways, they’ll usually be posted in official channels and have social media posts to go along with them.
If it seems too good to be true, and you’re sure you haven’t actually entered any online giveaways recently, just block the account. Here’s how to report accounts on Discord as well. Do your part to make your communities safer for yourself and others.
Bitcoin & Altcoin Scams
Crypto coins are all the rage right now, so naturally cryptocurrency scams have followed suit. Be on the lookout for well-formatted DMs claiming you’ve won a crypto giveaway – usually Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), or some lesser-known coins.
Aside from giveaways, cryptocurrency and stock trading communities are frequently targeted by so-called “insiders”. They’ll let you know about this hot new coin or stock that’s about to skyrocket in value; so why not take the chance to invest?
How kind of them, right? Too bad it’s almost always a sham and you’d be left with a worthless investment with no chance for growth. As always, block, report, and move on.
How to Stay Safe against Discord Scams
Follow the advice we’ve linked to in the beginning and you’ll be prepared to face any Discord threats out there. We’ll give you the quick rundown below, but we highly recommend checking out ProPrivacy’s tips as well. This is especially true if you are a Discord server owner and want to keep your community safe.
In any case, here’s what you can do other than ignoring suspicious links:
- Adjust your Discord “Privacy & Safety” settings – full guide (with screenshots) at the link mentioned above, for both private users and server owners.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA) and require your moderators and admins to have 2FA enabled. This will prevent any incidents in case you or your team’s Discord accounts get compromised.
- Use a separate email for your Discord account. You’ll prevent spammers from getting a hold of your primary email in case your account gets hijacked in any way. Free providers like Proton and Tutanota are useful when you need an email for non-essential services like Discord.
Finally, it’s worth minimizing how much info you share about yourself online. This is especially true on public Discord servers, where spam bots, scammers, and other Internet pests are present.