Discord provides an excellent platform for socializing and connecting with others. While that is the case, among the diverse community, there may be individuals with malicious intentions engaging in cybercriminal activities.
Discord scams and other potential security threats underscore the importance of always exercising caution when engaging on the platform.
Discord scammers come to you with fake promises of free Discord Nitro, or send harmful software through private messages to try to get your Discord token, or even deceive you with fake contests and giveaways.
1) Fake Downloads
So you’re hanging out online, and someone who seems like your friend—or at least claims to be—reaches out to you. They tell you about this cool video they made, a game they want you to try, or some code they’ve written.
They ask you to download a program or click on a link to check it out. Sounds innocent, right? No matter what story they spin, their real goal is to get you to download something harmful, something that can mess up your computer or even take control of your account.
Another version of the scam is someone asking you to “test” something for them. They guide you to open the developer tools on your internet browser while logged into a web app.
Then, they ask you to show them your token. Now, don’t fall for it. Your token is like the key to your account. Once you hand it over, they’ll get right in to your Discord account and take control.
Discord never asks you for your token. On top of that, there’s no good reason for you to open Discord’s Developer Console, especially if you’re using the internet browser version.
This warning specifically applies to the browser version and not the desktop or mobile applications.
Imagine passing through your messages on Discord when suddenly you get a message from what seems like an “official Discord account.”
The person on the other end claims to have some golden ticket for you—an entry into exclusive Discord programs such as HypeSquad or Partner.
Most of the time, this is a scam. Scammers are clever; they mix real Discord invite links (usually to public servers) with their harmful links to make you think it’s all legit.
One of the telltale signs that a scammer is pulling a fast one on you is a bluish-purple “System” tag next to the sender’s name coupled with a unique banner replacing the usual Reply space.
If you ever sense that a DM is trying to scam you, click on the red “Report Spam” button at the top of the DM. Always remain keen with messages and report the fakes as you’ll be doing your bit to make the Discord community a safer place.
3) Free Nitro Scams
You might be scrolling through your messages, and suddenly a stranger claims they’ve picked you for a “free Nitro” giveaway. The fake nitro scam is among the oldest tricks in the book, and it’s more likely a scam than a gift of generosity.
If someone you don’t know randomly slides into your DMs, declaring you the chosen one for a Nitro giveaway, just know that it is a scam.
Discord never asks you to scan a QR code to snag a Nitro code. Avoid responding to someone pushing you to scan a mysterious QR code.
If you use QR Code Login to hop onto Discord, always double-check. Are you on the desktop app? If you’re on the web app, make sure your URL bar spells out exactly like this “https://discord.com/login.”
4) Discord-Steam Scams
The Discord-Steam scam promises a gaming paradise—new features, Nitro perks, all by linking your Discord and Steam accounts. Scammers claim that by merging your Discord and Steam worlds, you’ll unlock Nitro wonders.
They might even go the extra mile, insisting that Steam is handing out three months of Nitro for free. While it might be a tempting offer, do not take the bait.
If you fall prey and click on the message’s call to action, a Steam pop-up ad appears, asking for your Steam credentials. After entering your details, an error message pops up, leaving you stuck. Little do you know, you’ve just handed over your Steam keys to the scammers.
5) Fake NFT Drops
NFTs have become valuable in the recent past. Yet, with great opportunities come great risks.
Discord has become a breeding ground for cybercriminals scheming up fake NFT drops to scam unsuspecting users. These scams often masquerade on accounts linked to OpenSea, a major NFT marketplace.
Imagine stumbling upon an account showcasing renowned NFTs or brand-new pieces from well-established artists, all at prices that seem too good to be true.
Well, guess what? They usually are. The scam unfolds as users excitedly spend their hard-earned crypto on what they believe are genuine NFTs. They later discover they’ve handed their money to scammers peddling worthless digital tokens.
Spotting a fake NFT requires a keen eye. Take a closer look at the properties of the NFT, the seller’s profile, and the history of the digital collectible. These scammers might be clever, but with a bit of keenness, you can avoid falling victim to their schemes.
Discord Safety Checklist
Decide Who Can Send You DMs
When you’re on Discord, it’s paramount that you keep yourself safe and secure. One way to do this is by deciding who can and can’t send you direct messages (DMs).
To tweak these settings, the first thing you need to do is click on User Settings (the little gear next to your name). After that, go to Privacy & Safety, where you’ll set the rules for who can interact with you. Scroll down until you find “Server Privacy Defaults.”
Now, pay close attention to the option that says “Allow direct messages from server members.” This will put a filter on to keep out unwanted messages. You have the power to decide if everyone in a server can DM you or if you want to limit it to friends only.
Feel free to adjust this setting according to your comfort level. The change will only affect servers you join after making the adjustment. Therefore, if you’re in a bunch of servers already, you might want to double-check those settings individually.
Audit the Permissions Settings of your Server
If you run a server of your own, you want to ensure that only the right people have access to powerful permissions. Do your moderators have access to tools that can significantly impact the server?
Have you set it up so they all need to have their accounts secured by 2FA? If not, you may want to, that way even if their account gets hacked, they can’t do as much damage.
Check for any surprise permissions that might have slipped through the cracks. It’s all about keeping a watchful eye on who can do what and for how long.
Be careful when it comes to adding bots to your server. Bots are like digital assistants and you should only grant them the permissions necessary for their tasks.
Watch out for impostor bots pretending to be trustworthy ones. Trusted and well-known bots don’t need admin permissions. For more information on permissions, check the valuable information on the Help Center.
Always Update Your Links
Always keep your invite links up to date to ensure that your community and potential new members can easily join your server.
If you ever change or update your server’s links, let everyone know, especially on social media pages where you’ve shared them before. Delete any references to the old invite links and make it clear that there are new ones.
Updating links is even more important for servers that are Partnered, Verified, or Level 3-boosted, particularly if you have a custom vanity URL. Losing or changing this link could lead to trouble if other communities grab your old one.
Just imagine someone wanting to join your awesome community might accidentally end up in a not-so-awesome server that’s up to no good.
There’s more to it than just about updating links – it’s also about setting up clear rules for your community regarding invite sharing. Encourage your members to always double-check where an invite leads and who it’s coming from before clicking on it. A little precaution goes a long way!
Why Someone Would Want To Access Your Discord Account
Ever wondered why someone would want to access your Discord account? Well, if someone gains control of it, there’s a host of things they can do. They can change your username, password, and the email linked to your account.
Once they’re in, they have access to everything tied to your account, not just the usual payment or email info. Your private conversations, messages in DMs, and server interactions are all fair game.
Now, if you’re the proud owner of servers, the intruder gains control there as well. They can tweak everything from the layout to permissions, mess with bots and even Webhooks!
It’s a full-on takeover. Imagine them using your account as a tool to wreak havoc within your community or, worse, pretending to be you to deceive unsuspecting members.
Some scammers might specifically target accounts with unique badges, like the elusive Early Supporter or Early Verified Bot Developer badges.
If you’re rocking one of these badges, you need to be more careful. The last thing you want is for the password to be changed and your account falls victim to a scammer.
An effective way to keep scammers out of your account is by enabling 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), which adds an extra layer of defense. If someone wants to change your password, they’ll need to provide a 2FA code.
If the worst happens and your account gets compromised, reporting the incident to the Discord support team to help you regain control.
Discord is an amazing space for building communities and making connections, no doubt. But let’s be real – it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.
The unfortunate truth is that Discord scams are out there, and plenty of folks have already fallen for them. It’s not just about enjoying the platform; it’s about being street-smart to steer clear of the many scams that are floating around.