The Andre Cronje Mis-hap — Fake Partnership Cryptocurrency Fraud

Cryptocurrency markets are heavily correlated and full of downside tail risk. While there are many tokens competing to achieve the highest positive growth during these periods, virtually none of the projects plan for the opposite, extreme contraction during market cycles.

Blackswan maintains stability not only during market growth cycles but unleashes growth during contractionary market periods with the aim to move as an anti-fragile asset or uncertainty index.

We would like to preface this article in saying that the Blackswan team does not expect this to affect the project in any way long term. We are going to continue in putting our full effort behind the success of this project.

Last night, a large sell order was placed on Quickswap of $SWAN tokens. While this was not the Blackswan team, it was the result of a poor miscalculation done by the team in regards to an exciting partnership we believed would be highly beneficial the project.

On July 15th, we were contacted by @Stanthreal on Telegram in regards to a potential partnership with Yearn Finance and the Fantom Opera network.

Up until this point, we had never seen an impersonated partnership request, and we believed this was real when we received the email.

Received from “info@yearn.fi”. We proceeded to message “Andre” on skype and scheduled a zoom video call.

“Andre” messages have been deleted from his end.

The first red-flag can be seen when we suggested the call be held on Google Meets, however “Andre” insisted it would be on Zoom. While we do not have any screenshots during the call, “Andre’s” face cam was on and we suspect the setting to be almost exactly the same as the video below.

The “Andre” on the call looked exactly the same, sounded the same, and in hindsight was the same. We believe this was a deep-fake video call with Andre and some form of voice changer to impersonate him.

We did not suspect a thing, and believed we had landed ourselves a project defining potential partnership with Andre.

We were given the document above outlining how this new YFM token would be utilized on Fantom chain, and at this stage still did not have any suspicions.

Next, we were given the agreement contract, part of which can be seen above. We knew this contract was clearly not written entirely by a professional due to some small nuances. However it still seemed legitimate.

After asking questions about the partnership, some of which cannot be seen in the screenshots, we were hesitant to move forward in sending the tokens. We had not seen any public information about yFarm or the YFM token. We had talked to other members of the Yearn finance team on telegram who mentioned that they were not planning on expanding to Fantom. We needed more proof. Andre was ready to send back the 20,000 SWAN tokens that had already been sent if we were not willing to go through with the deal. “Andre” suggested that he could send a picture of his I.D. which we believed would seal the deal on our end.

Minutes later, we were sent this photo, which we believed to be “Andre’s” legitimate ID. We were willing to look past the red flags, as we believed the benefit we would potentially receive by going through with this deal would be a defining moment in the projects long term success. The Tokens were sent to the address.

After seeing the tokens being dumped on the market, in hindsight there is no legitimate evidence connecting what occurred to Andre or the Yearn finance team.

We found the ID image we received to be fake.

The email we received was spoofed.

And while we are not certain, we believe the call was a deep-fake.

Ultimately, this resulted in the scammer receiving roughly $30,000 USD after selling the tokens on Quickswap.

Moving Forward

The Blackswan team would like to first formally apologize to the amazing community that has been supporting us thus far for the lack of caution in regards to the execution of this failed deal.

I hope this to be a lesson for other aspiring small-cap projects, and did not wish this experience upon any other team.

We want to continue on our journey of building the first anti-fragile cryptocurrency token, and hope that this is only a small bump in the road that we will be able to look back on from new heights that the project is able to achieve.