Monday, June 17, 2019

Belgian Non-profit Organization Poses As Coinbase In New Scam Format

On January 9, the Twitter account of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB), a Belgian non-profit organization was hacked and used to solicit for funds. The account was used to impersonate Coinbase, a Californian-based cryptocurrency exchange. Here, users were made to believe that a giveaway was ongoing in celebration of Coinbase’s large user base.

FEB’s Twitter Account Use to Solicit for Funds

The details of the event reveal that FEB’s Twitter account was used to perpetrate these acts by unknown persons. First, the account’s cover photo was changed to match that of Coinbase’s brand and the profile description was changed to “Official Coinbase Promotion Account”. However, the scammers were unable to change the account’s username.

The next step was to make a tweet, that in celebration of Coinbase’s large community, a giveaway was ongoing. The Twitter message explicitly stated that “Over 300,000 users on #Coinbase We are giving away 3 000BTC to the Coinbase Community!”. The message also thanked all members of the platform and encouraged them to be a part of the giveaway.

0.2 BTC to be Sent Per User In Order to Partake in Giveaway

On clicking the link that leads to the payment address, users were notified to send 0.2BTC to a specified address. In return, they were promised 2 to 20 BTC or 10x of what they had sent, as a reward. The message also added that a user could only partake in the promotion once.

The account whose promotional tweet has been deleted still has a former retweet made from Coinbase’s profile. Currently, it is uncertain if anyone fell victim to the scam by transferring in their funds. The wallet which was also linked to the Tweet is not yet known to hold any amount of funds.

Now, the easiest way users could have detected this fraud is from the account’s username as well as the spellings errors. In line with that, a closer look at Coinbase’s user base shows discrepancies in the data that was provided in the Tweet. Ran Neuner, CNBC’s host of Crypto Trader had revealed in October that there are 600,000 active traders on Coinbase.

Another Twitter Cryptocurrency Scam From the Past

It is no longer uncommon to find important personnel being impersonated to scam people of their Cryptocurrencies. Popular among them, is Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors whose identity has been stolen quite a number of times. On November 6, BTCNN reported that a fake Elon Musk Twitter account was used to scam people of 6 BTC.

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