As the digital asset economy grows in popularity and many crypto companies become known, copy scammers are popping up in larger numbers. There are a number of websites that are clones of the official webpage from companies that provide mining device sales, wallets, full nodes, paper wallet tools, and popular trading platforms.
News.Bitcoin.com recently wrote a report on mining devices, and one of the links we saw looked like it belonged to a trusted mining manufacturer, but the URL went to a copywriting site that looked exactly the same same as the original URL. People make mistakes and the reality is that some of these scams can be very difficult to catch. That’s because often these web pages look exactly the same as the official website, with few minor details.
Some shadow websites are pretty obvious, like when news.Bitcoin.com has Terence Zimwara he wrote am Bitcoin Inc. and the ostensible fractional tokens. However, some web pages are copy-straight web pages, and are almost identical to the official page. For example, a website is a copy of the official page of the Strongu mining rig manufacturer. Google happens to keep getting the broad website at the top of the results page.
The site is called “strongutech.com” and the real webpage is called “strongu.com.cn/.” A copycat website, which uses the word “tech” in the name, was created as a phony sales site. It also managed to get it to the top of Google browser results with little effort. It should be known that the copy site is not the company’s official mining site. News.Bitcoin.com has reported it to Google’s anti-phishing page which allows people to report suspicious websites.
Spoofing the websites of trusted crypto companies has been going on for years. For example, six years ago the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is spoofed by a web page called “coinbase.re/,” and everything was real except the login button. Which means that after an unknowing Coinbase customer used it, the hacker would steal login credentials. The site was also the first “sponsored” post at the top of the Bing browser results page.
Last summer, law enforcement in Europe arrest a group that built the website Blockchain.com. The hackers managed to empty the wallets of 4,000 victims. All the malicious actors did was leverage a technique called “typosquatting,” which uses a domain name but with one small typo. There are fake paper wallet generator sites that people have been to complain about over the years. Three months ago, a Reddit user as well reported on the Ian Coleman BIP39 phony page on top of Google results.
Day in and day out, scammers use fake and typosquatting websites to steal people’s cryptocurrencies. Scammers also appear on Google Play Store copying reputable brands and creating fake apps. Satoshilabs, the company that manufactures the Trezor hardware wallet, recently tweeted about an Android app that pretended to be the official application.
“Warning to all Android users who own Trezor devices,” the company said tweets on December 2, 2020. “This app is a scam and has no affinity with SatoshiLabs and Trezor. We have already reported it to the Google team. Always confirm any steps on your device and never type seed words until your Trezor asks you to, ”added the hardware wallet manufacturer.
The reality is that as cryptocurrencies become more popular, so will the number of copies, scammers, and website creators. Always make sure that the URL is 100% accurate when accessing the wallet, exchange, mining company, or any service you use with crypto. There have been plenty of cases where Google, Bing, and other popular browsers allow fake copcat websites at the top of the results page, and some scams are even sponsored.
You can report phishing websites to Google and other browsers, so that other individuals can have a safer browsing experience surfing the web. In addition, many crypto companies like Coinbase offer methods for people to report phishing and websites as well.
What do you think about the growing number of copy and spoof crypto websites? Let us know what you think of this topic in the comments section below.
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