Discord servers have recently seen a number of scams involving a fake cryptocurrency exchange for free Bitcoin or Ethereum. The worst part is the scammer's site looks official.
Guess what? it isn't. As shown on cyber security company Kaspersky (opens in new tab)'s blog, the scam is seen on cryptocurrency servers on Discord. It sends random users a private message concerning the scams "fast growing" cryptocurrency exchange, along with a free giveaway prize of cryptocurrency of Bitcoin or Ethereum worth around $20,000 (the amount varies). Of course, instructions of how to get it follow.
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The link for registering to the fake cryptocurrency exchange leads to a fairly legitimate-looking site — there's an adaptive layout, believable design, exchange rate info, charts and trading history which is usually expected on trading sites. Reportedly (opens in new tab), there's even technical support and several language options. They really put some effort into this.
Then there's two-factor authentication for user's peace of mind for security. But not so fast. Kaspersky states that following through with the registration means either making a small cryptocurrency deposit or going through a 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) identity check.
The contact details and information supplied by the users are collected on a database the scammers then sell through the black market. Yikes. When completing registration, users actually do get the stated Bitcoin or Ethereum in their account, although they won't be able to exchange these coins to their wallet. Pity.
It goes without saying, but random messages offering big prizes or money should never be trusted. With the recent surge in cryptocurrency enthusiasm thanks to GameStop and Dogecoin, vulnerability to fake cryptocurrency scams has definitely heightened. Be safe.
Just to be sure you don't get scammed, here's where you can find the best cryptocurrency exchanges.