How to Spot a Scam Smart Contract?

Navigating the world of smart contracts can be tricky, but fear not! Our guide will help you identify legitimate smart contracts and avoid potential pitfalls.
3 min readMay 15, 2024

Earlier, we shared an introduction to smart contracts and the trends for 2024–2025. Click the link to read the article if you haven’t already!

Understanding Smart Contract Vulnerabilities

One pressing question often arises: Can smart contracts be hacked? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Smart contracts can have vulnerabilities that malicious actors exploit, often combining these exploits with social engineering tactics to steal assets. Because blockchain transactions are irreversible, any loss of funds can be permanent.

For instance, in April 2024, the DeFi lending protocol Pike Finance suffered two exploits amounting to $1.98 million across the Ethereum, Arbitrum, and Optimism chains. These attacks were attributed to vulnerabilities in the smart contracts, resulting in a $1.68 million exploit on April 30 and an additional $300,000 exploit on April 26.

How to Assess Smart Contract Safety

To determine if a smart contract is safe, look out for these red flags:

  1. Lack of Transparency. Scammers often withhold critical information, such as team identities, development plans, or project goals. Legitimate projects typically offer transparent and detailed documentation, including whitepapers, team bios, and roadmaps. If a project provides vague or evasive responses, be cautious.
  2. Unrealistic Promises. Be wary of smart contracts promising exorbitant returns or guaranteed profits with minimal risk. The cryptocurrency market is volatile, and all investments carry inherent risks.
  3. Anonymous Developers. Trustworthy projects are backed by transparent teams with verifiable identities and track records. Scammers often hide behind anonymity to evade accountability.
  4. Copycat Projects. Scammers may mimic the branding, website design, or whitepapers of reputable projects to deceive users. These copycat projects exploit the success of established projects to lure investors into fraudulent schemes.
  5. Unverified Audits. Security audits are crucial for identifying vulnerabilities. Legitimate projects undergo independent audits from reputable firms to validate their code. Avoid projects that claim to be audited without providing verifiable audit reports.
  6. High-pressure Tactics. Be cautious of projects using aggressive marketing tactics to pressure you into making hasty investment decisions. These tactics may include time-limited offers or fear-mongering to create a sense of urgency. Always take your time to conduct thorough research.
  7. Community Feedback. Engage with the broader community and seek feedback from other users. Reputable forums, social media channels, and online communities can provide valuable insights into the credibility of a project.

By keeping these warning signs in mind and conducting thorough due diligence, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to scam smart contracts and protect your investments in the ever-evolving world of blockchain technology. Always remember: do your own research before entering any crypto project!

Share your experiences and insights in the comments below! Let’s help each other navigate the world of blockchain technology safely and effectively. Your knowledge could save someone from falling into a scam. 🛡️💬



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