Scammer running elaborate crypto and blockchain sock puppet scheme on Reddit exposed

  • One Reddit user, “Aaron,” has been flagged as a spammer after sharing multiple projects campaigning messages via multiple accounts and conducting vote manipulation.
  • A spreadsheet published on the platform shows the spammer’s well-orchestrated moves, including having different IP addresses for different accounts.

A cryptocurrency and blockchain spam marketer is now widely operating on Reddit, according to several of the platform’s moderators.

Named “Aaron,” the spammer has been repeatedly promoting certain posts and topics related to specific crypto and blockchain projects. These include a blockchain-based ride-sharing service, a number of Medium posts, and an account focusing on the Ethereum subreddits among others. To lure supporters, the spammer has attempted to recruit influential users, including Reddit moderators.

Last week, a moderator of several subreddits said in a post that they were approached by a “marketing” company. The two communicated via Telegram – another social app popular in the crypto community. Aaron proceeded to share a set of spreadsheets detailing his campaigns, the moderator wrote. Thereafter, the moderator publicly released the said documents on Reddit to alert the rest of the community of their suspiciousness.

Based on these documents, Aaron has been upvoting Reddit posts, especially those covering certain cryptocurrencies. He has also been distributing flattering blog posts and has tried to skirt around the site’s security mechanisms. A number of moderators confirmed receiving the same set of documents from Aaron.

Reddit scam operation revealed

The spreadsheets detail different accounts, each with a different IP address to trick algorithms or persons detecting suspicious activities. Some accounts were marked as banned, flagged as spam, or hacked. A handful of accounts were dedicated to the Bitcointalk forum.

Before this event, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts ran such sock puppets – alternative online identities created for deceptive purposes. Reddit is now in the spotlight, with spammer Aaron using multiple tactics to get his way. A post on the Bitcointalk forum written by Aaron reads:

We’re able to give any project access to thousands of potential investors through mass promotion. If any of these services interest you, please get in contact with me,

We specialize in large-quantity posts, upvotes, comments, articles, reviews, followers, traffic, click-throughs, back-linking, SEO, and more. The team is flexible and can complete a variety of marketing tasks.

Such activity is aimed at bolstering search engine optimization for certain projects. This increases viewing by the Reddit community or appearance in search engine results such as those of Google, generating a legitimacy façade.

On the same forum, Motherboard requested Aaron for comment. He did not deny running the Reddit spam campaign, or that the leaked spreadsheets were a blueprint to the scheme. He simply asked, “Will I get paid for this interview?”

A Reddit spokesperson told Motherboard the company’s policies “identified and actioned the user before their behavior could disrupt the broader Reddit community.” 

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