Half of the presales on Solana turned out to be scams

According to a Blockaid report, approximately half of all projects on the Solana platform that used a token distribution strategy through pre-sales were found to be involved in fraudulent activity.
Pre-sales are one of the most popular methods of raising funds for blockchain startup projects before the official launch of tokens. They give investors the opportunity to buy assets at a reduced price before listing on exchanges and the official start of sales.
According to information published by CoinDesk, attackers actively used social engineering techniques on the Telegram, X and Discord platforms to trick users into interacting with malicious smart contracts or websites.

Increase in the number of scam tokens with pre-sale. Source: Blockaid

“[Criminals] are focusing on both meme coins and existing projects. For example, just in the coming days we have seen some of these [scammer] groups targeting some of the most popular protocols,” added Blockaid CEO Ben Nathan
Conducting a pre-sale seems simple enough: the coin issuer simply publishes a smart contract address and invites cryptocurrency to be sent to it, with the expectation that participants will receive back an equivalent amount of the new token once the fundraising is complete.

However, the ease of launching such campaigns, coupled with investors' fear of missing out on possible profits, has led to an increase in fraud, according to the Blockaid report.
“The hype around meme coins is becoming more and more tempting for users and prompting them to look for new opportunities [to make money]. This may lead to risks of interaction with attackers,” Nathan emphasized.
According to on-chain analyst ZachXBT, 33 pre-sales of tokens totaling almost $140 million were held on the Solana platform between March 12 and March 20. This list identified several cases of fraud, causing a total loss of approximately $4.4 million. However, he noted that this is not the entire volume of fraudulent activity.
In early April, the URF meme coin team disappeared with 2,400 SOL (approximately $450,000) raised during a coin pre-sale. The criminals carried out their scheme in less than 24 hours after pre-sales began.

Currently, activity in the SOL token has slowed down slightly after growing rapidly in late 2023 and early 2024. The price is $173, down 6.7% for the week. Market capitalization is $77.4 billion.

Binance exchange 15-minute SOL/USDT chart. Data: TradingView.

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