Cybersecurity researchers at Kaspersky have uncovered an elaborate BTC scam running on Discord, which encourages unsuspecting victims to access a fake cryptocurrency exchange.
According to a security report published by Kaspersky, the scam could be part of an effort to collect data on digital currency users, which would then have resale value to other scammers and criminals on the dark web.
The scam works by targeting Discord users, before offering up free BTC and ETH. Private messages are sent to users which claim to come from a new exchange giving away digital currency as part of a launch promotion.
Victims are told they need to visit the fake exchange and sign up with their personal data. They are then asked to make a deposit, and/or to complete a KYC process, which involves submitting personal ID information through the fake site.
Claiming the offered free digital currency comes at a cost, usually a deposit of around 0.02BTC, approximately $750, the scammers encourage victims to pay into their exchange. The transaction appears to succeed, but fails at the point of withdrawal, when victims are left without their deposit, or the promised free digital currency.
According to Kaspersky, the scams are sophisticated, with convincing design and even security features like 2FA logins to convince victims to part with their digital currency and their data.
As well as the front-end theft of digital currency, Kaspersky says the user and KYC data is of significant commercial value to other scammers, exposing victims to multiple layers of risk.
The scam is the latest example of criminality in BTC, which remains the predominant digital currency of choice for online criminals and fraudsters. This latest scam serves as a reminder to digital currency users of the need for caution, especially when being offered free digital currency.
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