Scammers Disguise as Mobile Payments Company to Steal Bitcoin

This week, scammers circulated emails to people disguising as the mobile payments company, Square. What both have in common, is Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square. Cybercrime actors have been using Twitter to scam people but this time, they decided to narrow it down to home by targeting Dorsey’s own exchange.

Email Circulates Misleading People About Square’s Trade of Stellar

An email was in circulation during the course of the week informing people that Square now sells Stellar (XLM) cryptocurrency. The message hinted that the virtual asset could be traded for Bitcoin at a ratio of 150 XLM for $10 Bitcoin’s worth. A payment address was attached to the mail, asking the user to make a payment which will be credited on their account.
While the method employed by the actor(s) behind the crime is a cheap trick which could probably make anyone not bat an eyelid, it was still worth creating awareness about the scam. In that regards, Square refuted the claim and at press time, payments had not been sent to the malicious address.

A Message is Circulated Alongside Square Publicized Returns

What’s more intriguing, is that the message was circulated right after Square had publicized its yearly earnings on February 27. Prior to the release, the company had revealed its financial report for the fourth quarter of 2017 stating that:

Total net revenue was $616 million, up 36% year over year, and Adjusted Revenue was $283 million, up 47% year over year. This is an increase from the third quarter of 2017, when total net revenue and Adjusted Revenue grew 33% and 45%, respectively, year over year

The company’s first-quarter report was not applauded by investors since it did not meet their expectations. However, the payments company’s Bitcoin revenue is increasing given that the Bitcoin service raised $166 million in annual revenue. In comparison to the startups’ valuation of $33 billion, this may only be a drop in the ocean.

Cryptocurrency Crime on the Rise

In reference to giveaway scam that was circulated, cryptocurrency crime of this nature is on the rise. Elon Musk, PayPal’s co-founder has been impersonated a couple of times, and at one of such, the wallet address which funds were paid to revealed that over 6 Bitcoin had been received.
Asides from this, the SIM swap attack has been the order of the day with a victim’s line being moved to another number. As a result, funds held in cryptocurrency exchange, as well as an email address, can be accessed. On January 20, BTCNN reported an instance of this of Michael Terpin, a Senior Adviser at Alphabit Fund, whose cryptocurrencies totaling about $23 million were stolen.

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