Sometimes some websites are so downgraded, that you can understand just by seeing it. They will have spelling errors and lackluster performance. Moreover try to find the Contact Us section. Make sure they are on atleast one Social Media Platform like Reddit, Twitter or Facebook. Also try to see if they have their own customer care email id, e.g. email@example.com and not firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a look at their team
If it's a team of less than 3 people, most likely its fake. Try to google their names and find them on platforms like Linkedin and Github. Just being present on these platforms also won't do, check their activity and when they have joined the platforms. If its created like 3-4 months before, most likely they are impersonating someone else. Sometimes, you will see the team being anonymous, by using pseudonyms which is alright. You don't have much of chance here to know if the team is legit or not.
Read in between the lines
Anywhere you see, captions or statements like "you will earn lots of money..", "money making machine..", "No Loss, Only Profit", "10,000% Profit Ratio" - understand that, they are only interested in YOUR Money. No ICO will claim to make only profits and set you a profit-percentage for it.
MLM or Tech?
Some ICOs give the illusion of working on a ground-breaking technology but inside they are MLM or Multi-Level-Marketing Scheme and nothing else. Well they are not scam/fake outright but impersonating as a cutting edge tech giant is also not acceptable.
Most Scammed ICOs, I have seen to have a low target goal to achieve. They don't set their cap at a huge number.
Change of Address:
If you see, the ICO changes their crowdsale address frequently and by frequently I mean quite frequently, then suspect it to be playing around with your money.
ICOs have become Smart. Few days after the launch of their ICO, they will come up with a bluff that they were hacked and have lost all their funding. So now they have changed their servers, shifted their office to Moon and are operating from Saturn's Proxy IP. Don't fall for it. Period.
Near the fag end of the ICO, you will see them to delete their Tweets, Facebook posts and comments. The moment you see - it's a SCAM!
The Mighty Whitepaper:
Okay if you're thinking I will tell an ICO is fake just because it has no Whitepaper, then you're mistaken. There have been few ICOs where the whitepapers haven't been published and the reason being, copied. It is acceptable that the pace at which ICOs are coming, one can try to replicate another's model. But organisations do publish their whitepaper eventually on the day of sale or a day before. So keep that in mind.
ICOs which I have predicted to be Fake and are proven to be:
They left no chances to have a doubt. Ziber merchandise, stickers, office, suited men, presentations, brainstorming sessions, intro video, product already available for download - each and everything seemed legit until they fell for the 7th point - Fake sympathy, followed by the 8th. Now when you open their site ziber.io, it redirects to a wordpress blog which has been setup by peeps who were scammed and are trying to unmask the scammers. Eros HQ. Aimed to be the Sex Marketplace has lost its domain and Twitter profile.
Cheeky videos of suited men and a website which is disastrous than a 5 year old's wall drawing.
Looked promising but I knew their lack of professionalism and random changing of the address would result in a scam.
This section will be updated so bookmark it for future use.
Now, that we have laid out all the loopholes of a Fake ICO, one can take a note of it, smartly cover it up and launch its ICO. So remember, a scammer will always leave a clue behind. You just need to find that clue.
DISCLAIMER: These are our own personal thoughts. Do your own research before investing.