“A shill is a hustler or con-person who tries to convince other people to buy something or think something is great”. Unlike other scammers, shillers are really hard to spot, and it's undoubtedly the most common type of scam to fall victim to.
How do shillers work?
Shillers use media platforms such as Twitter, Telegram and Discord in order to advertise certain tokens or coins to a large community. Their tactic is usually as follows:
1. Find a coin that can be shilled
2. Start buying the coin over a certain period of time (usually weeks)
3. Start selling the narrative about how great this coin is to the audience
4. When people start buying, they start selling
In the end, it’s the audience that gets rekt.
However, it’s not the only way shillers work. In other times, they create their own token(s) and get celebrities to promote it. Celebrities, often without even knowing what they are getting themselves into, get their followers to purchase said coins or tokens. A great example of this is the “Save the Kids” scandal, in which many esports celebrities from FaZe promoted a coin that a couple of days later tanked.
But it’s not just the coins and tokens shillers work with. Recently there have been many scams for people trying to flip NFTs. There are of course many cases, where people are getting rugged by apeing into rug NFT collections. However, there are more deliberate scams as well. Let’s look at an example. Here a seller has listed a NFT for sale at 50 $ETH. However, there are offers made to buy this NFT for 98 $WETH. At a glance, this seems like the perfect arbitrage opportunity, but it’s not that simple. The wallet that made the offer to buy the NFT for 98 $WETH has actually revoked the approval for $WETH (this can be seen in Etherscan), so he couldn’t actually buy it. If something seems to be too good to be true, well, then it usually is.
What to learn from here?
Do not believe what other people are selling you. Make sure to actually do your own research and find the best investment opportunities yourself. These people on social media platforms might make it look like they are your friends and they “just want to help you” but most of them are just plain scammers.