Telegram channels – new media and greasy business. It is there that the hottest scandals-intrigues-investigations and memas are now.
We tell how they can steal such a tidbit.
The information below is published for informational purposes only: know how others cheat so as not to be in this situation.
How are channel rights transferred in Telegram
How to become the owner of the channel? Buy it, accept as a gift or steal. Give channels rarely. But theft for the purchase is often disguised.
Previously, channels were sold only by re-linking the founder’s account to a new phone number.
In June , the Transfer Ownership function was added to the messenger , which allows you to transfer rights to channels and groups to any other administrator. For example, if the current admin is tired of leading the channel.
Transfer Ownership gives the new administrator full control over the channel. It can even ban the creator and other administrators on the channel.
But still, many still sell channels through re-linking the founder’s account. After all, Transfer Ownership does not guarantee that the seller will receive the money. The function was created specifically for the voluntary transfer of rights to the channel.
Rebinding, in turn, is done through a guarantor – a user or service that is trusted by both the seller and the buyer . Guarantors are generally often involved in the sale of accounts, pages, etc. in social networks.
How do you usually sell channels? Through the guarantor
The buyer transfers the money to the guarantor (the amount for the purchase of the channel + commission for services, usually 3-7%).
The seller exits all sessions on devices and removes two-factor authorization from the account of the creator of the channel. Usually he sends the guarantor screenshots of his actions.
The buyer gives the guarantor a phone number for linking the account. It is important that this number is not used in Telegram before. In fact, they left the opportunity to return access to accounts if you lost a SIM card.
If the guarantor received money from the buyer, he begins the procedure of linking the account of the creator of the channel to a new number. The seller transmits a confirmation code from SMS from Telegram to re-link the account.
When the buyer confirms that he has received the rights to the channel, the guarantor transfers the money to the seller.
Sometimes they do without a guarantor. For example, if the buyer and the seller can meet in person and exchange the “cutlet” of cash or the password from the transfer in the electronic system to re-link the account. But more often they work precisely through guarantors.
And how much money do Telegram channels bring?
It all depends on the number of subscribers and marketing talents of the administration. For example, the neutral channel “ Science and Facts ” at the beginning of the year, when the audience was about 100 thousand people (now twice as many), brought 200 thousand rubles a month.
On average, a narrow channel (business, tourism, vacancies, etc.) with 20 thousand subscribers brings 50-300 thousand rubles per month . Administrators do not like to talk about specific numbers.
The channel’s selling price is also a bargain. The creator of the popular SlangBang channel , Grigory Mastrider, said that the amounts start from two annual incomes: if the channel brings 1 million a year, it’s worth selling no less than 2 million.
A vivid example: in 2017, stand-up comedian Arthur Chaparyan sold the former channel , which ranked first in terms of the number of subscribers, for $ 20 thousand (1.2 million rubles at that time).
Two weeks later, it was sold again, but for 95 thousand dollars (5.5 million rubles). Even on bitcoins, they did not raise so much.
So there is money in this story. How then steal accounts?
The most direct way to hack is through an administrator account
The way that is called, in the forehead. If you steal a SIM card with the channel administrator number (which turned out to be quite realistic), the hacker will have full access to the Telegram account created from this account and transferred to it channels and everything else.
If you infect the administrator’s smartphone with a virus, you can intercept SMS . This will allow you to log into the account from another device with a SIM card not lit in the messenger and re-link the channel to the necessary data.
If the administrator account is protected by two-factor authentication, you can reset it by hacking the associated e-mail. And so on.
Finally, the fake web version of Telegram can give out fraudsters a phone number and verification code from SMS.
But there are simpler ways. Social engineering and no brute force.
Popular cheats around the guarantee service
Popular guarantor services like garant.pro are often faked – they start fake pages that copy the original interface. This is what criminals use.
A fraudster contacts the channel administrator and offers a deal. The price is above the market, but not too much to be believable.
If the administrator agrees, then after discussing the conditions he will be given a link to a fake guarantor service. For example, instead of garant.pro it can be gorant.pro , garnat.pro or even garànt.pro .
The administrator does not notice the catch and agrees to the deal.
At the appointed time, the buyer allegedly transfers the money to the guarantor. A fraudster under the guise of a guarantor confirms that the money has come.
The seller transmits account information to the fake guarantor. The fraudster immediately reassigns the channel to a new SIM card . The buyer blacklisted the seller and disappears. The fake guarantor account also stops responding.
They can also replace the guarantor in Telegram
Telegram itself also has guarantors – people who perform the functions of guarantor services. In fact, they trade their reputation.
The fraudster finds a real guarantor whom the owner of the channel trusts. We will not do advertising, but nicknames of guarantors are well-known, finding reviews is also not a problem. The offender agrees with the guarantor and with the victim about the conditions and time of the transaction. So far, everything is clean and transparent.
A fraudster creates a fake guarantor account that looks like a real one. The buyer creates a private chat and sends the channel administrator a link to it.
After a while, a fake guarantor is added to the chat and transfers his details for payment. As soon as the payment is transferred, the admin sends the data for re-binding to the fake guarantor.
He re-ties the channel, but, of course, does not transfer any money.
Replace the guarantor and right in the purchase process
An example from here :
The initial data are approximately the same. Only substitution occurs in the process of the transaction itself.
There are two guarantors in the scheme – real and fake. How it works?
The fraudster and the channel administrator agree on the terms of the transaction and the guarantor. The fraudster creates a private chat, invites a real guarantor and admin of the channel.
In parallel, a fake guarantee channel is created.
Then the most interesting thing: the fraudster distracts the victim . To the administrator, in private messages or in the same private chat, something very interesting and profitable, and most importantly, long, is dumped.
It happens that they create additional chats to further confuse the victim. Another option is force majeure and transfer of the transaction.
While the admin is reading all this, the real guarantor is removed from the chat, the fake one is added. System messages about deleting from the chat and joining the chat are erased.
Then everything is as in the previous scheme: the admin transfers access, the channel is re-attached, the fraudster disappears.
An example of a well-known fraud in the sale of a major channel
The most high-profile story happened , perhaps, with the creator of the SlangBang channel, Grigory Mastrider. The transaction on the fake platform allowed to steal an account with an estimate of 2 million rubles.
It’s simple: the creator of the channel found reviews on Google by the name of the service, but did not verify its address. okpay.com.ru turned out to be fake sites, unlike www.okpay.com (in March 2018, the site merged with MoneyPolo).
Then the fraudster, under the guise of a new owner, allegedly wanted to resell SlangBang to the creator for 700 thousand rubles.
Thanks to the fame of the Mastrider, the channel was returned – he persuaded the guarantor to lie to the fraudster that he had received payment. He transferred the account, but did not receive the money. But this is rather an exception to the rule.
There was a lot of noise around the hijacking of Breaking Mad channels (5 thousand subscribers) and “Women’s Power” (15 thousand subscribers). In the second case, hackers used an account disguised as a Telegram assistant. He was sent to a fake form, where they asked to enter a username and password. Inattention was expensive.
What then do with stolen channels?
Most often they are resold as they are, until the noise has risen. And it happens that they are sold several times through the same fake guarantor service. Or offer the creator to return the channel. For a fee, of course.
Another option is a complete rework. From the channel, in fact, only an audience remains. The link to the channel, its avatar, name, description, theme is changing. After that, you can resell the channel or continue to lead it, attracting new advertisers by the audience.
Finally, you can “sell the channel to volcanoes” , numerous online casinos that attract any users for the sake of traffic to the site. But this is an extreme case and a little money.
How to protect yourself from channel theft?
Sell channels only through verified guarantors. Look carefully at web addresses, nicknames, phone numbers, etc.
Do not sell your account through a guarantor that is being imposed on you. No matter how long the review tape about him is.
Use a separate phone number for the administrator account . Set two-factor authorization in this account and in the account of the mail bound to it. Call yourself from this SIM card at least sometimes (for most operators – once every 90-180 days) so that the number is not turned off and sold to someone else.
Do not click on suspicious links. Do not rely on the anonymity and integrity of any digital communication channel.
Do not enter data in suspicious forms. Do not respond to the fake “Telegram assistants”. The real ones have blue ticks near the nicknames.
And do not shine your Telegram number. In the application’s settings on the “Privacy” tab, indicate that no one can see your phone number, and only contacts that you already have in the list will be able to find by phone number.