As those of us in the crypto space realize, the world of bitcoin and digital assets has a nasty habit of attracting bad actors and financial crime. The latest scheme involves messaging service Discord and ads promoting free cryptocurrency for users.
Discord Users Need to Be On the Lookout
As the old saying goes, “Nothing in life is free,” and many Discord users are learning this lesson right about now. Researchers with Kaspersky Labs have issued a warning to customers of the messaging firm, claiming that private messages are being sent to many of the company’s 300 million+ customers that are designed to look like they are from brand new digital trading platforms.
These Discord messages claim that they are looking to support traders in “difficult times,” and thus are looking to provide them with ways of getting free bitcoin or Ethereum. Each message claims that there are thousands of dollars at stake and provides instructions regarding how to register with the fake exchange and accept the crypto gift that awaits them.
In a statement, researchers explain:
The link opens a site that looks like a cryptocurrency exchange with an adaptive layout, savvy design, and the exchange rate info, charts, order books and trading history that cryptocurrency traders would expect to see on a trading platform. Visitors will also find technical support and several language options. Someone clearly went through a lot of trouble to make the site look legit.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that the site offers two-factor authentication and phishing protection options for would-be customers, thereby making the site appear even more legitimate than it is. Those who believe in the scam are then asked to sign up and provide specific information about themselves, including contact data, a signature and even a government-issued photo ID.
At the time of writing, it looks as if the hackers are working harder to get their fingers on people’s personal details rather than their money. While this may not sound so bad at first, in many ways it’s worse than if crypto or fiat was being stolen in that this personal data can be rounded up and sold to underground hacking sites or to other cybercriminals. The data can also be used for the purpose of stealing people’s identities and committing crimes in their names.
Crypto Crime Is Made to Look Legit
That said, it’s not like the people behind the scam aren’t thinking they can’t make a little extra money in the beginning, which appears to be the case. To top things off, victims are required to move a small portion of bitcoin or Ethereum into their new accounts with the exchange as a means of activating it.
Naturally, once the money is sent, it is permanently in the hands of the cyberthieves, and original owners are not likely to see their funds again.