Two Alleged Cryptocurrency Hard Fork Scams Demand for User’s Private Key



Last Updated: January 12, 2019 at 3:58 PM EST
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Guarda Wallet development team on January 11, alleged that two cryptocurrency projects are scams because they are demanding for the user’s private keys and redirecting these keys to a remote server. The alleged projects are Ethereum Nowa (ETN) and Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV).

Alleged Scam Hard Fork With 140 Million Coin Supply

An inspection of Ethereum Nowa’s (ETN) website says its coin has 140 million supply and some procedures have been outlined in order for an investor to partake in a share. First of all, they have to create a wallet that can store Ethereum and then transfer their funds from exchanges into it.

Next, they are to send an unspecified amount of ETH to an address provided by ETN in order for their wallet address to be picked up, the site says. On accessing the payment address on Etherscan, Ethereum’s block explorer, a user had already notified the public that the project was a scam and therefore, users should not send in funds.

ETN Triggers Users’ Suspicion

Another criteria that is to be met to get ETN, is to export the private key of the newly created wallet or an old one which contains funds into an online tool from ETN. The tool in question on being accessed triggers a security message on web browsers like Chrome, that it is a “deceptive site”. However, on proceeding to the site against the warning, a replica of Myetherwallet’s (MEW) website is revealed.

This clone of MEW may be similar, but its URL like many other fake sites is different. Unlike the original site that usually highlights radio buttons for the private key, mnemonics etc., the clone only highlights the option, “Private key”. This may have raised Guarda Wallet development team’s suspicion to take a closer look at the site’s source code.

Guarda Wallet Development Team Says Project is a Scam

The team who sent a paper to a media outlet said on entering a private key, it is sent to a remote server. They have therefore concluded that Ethereum Nowa “is a way for the thieves to get your private information and gain access to your wallet.”. Thus, there’s the possibility of a user losing their funds on submitting their key.

Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV), on the other hand, stated that its Hard Fork will begin on January 11. However, the team also says they have scanned the site’s code and discovered that there is a piece of code that transfers the user’s private keys to the “Ethereum Classic Vision servers, masking it as an API token.”

Cryptocurrency scam is not uncommon and despite the fact that similar measures are being employed by criminals, many investors in the industry are still falling a victim. BTCNN on November 6 had reported of a Twitter scam that impersonated Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors to steal 6BTC from people.