Although by and large cryptocurrencies haven’t had the best last couple of months, the popularity of crypto is showing no signs of slowing down. Scammers know this, and they certainly haven’t slowed down in their spreading of crypto-related scams.
To our crypto-investor friends out there, we encourage you to keep tabs on crypto-scammers activities so you can avoid a potential financial nightmare. With that in mind, here’s what we’ve found at Trend Micro this week.
Tether (USDT) Phishing Scam
Tether is the largest of all the stablecoins, which are specific cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat money or other exchange-traded commodities, in theory making them much less risky investments. Tether is pegged to the US dollar.
Scammers have been sending phishing text messages to potential victims informing them that they have over 1 million USDT (which has an exact 1:1 value with the US dollar). The message is enticing, there’s no doubt about it, guaranteeing that many people will want to click on the embedded phishing link (blurred in the above image).
When clicked on, the phishing link leads to a website called usdtjcoin[.]com. Victims who enter the username and password in the text message and log in to the site are instructed to pay a fee before they can withdraw their newfound cryptocurrency fortune.
As you might’ve guessed, there is no $1 million+ account balance, and if a victim were to pay the bogus withdrawal fee, they would never see a cent of that money ever again. Steer well clear of crypto phishing scams such as this one.
Fake WalletConnect Scam
WalletConnect is a legitimate website offering a service for people to connect their cryptocurrency wallets to decentralized apps. Unfortunately, scammers have recently been impersonating WalletConnect to try to trick people into sharing their crypto wallet phrases, Keystore JSON files, and private keys.
Scammers have been sending potential victims fake WalletConnect emails informing them that they need to reconnect their crypto wallets to WalletConnect to avoid termination of their accounts — a classic example of trying to scare victims into acting against their better judgments.
If a victim were to take the bait in the phishing email and click on the button inside, they would be taken to the fake WalletConnect website above. Interestingly, when scanned, the QR code on the fake website leads to the legitimate WalletConnect website (walletconnect.com).
The fake website’s goal is to get victims the share valuable private data relating to their crypto wallets. The scammers behind the site are not picky about which wallets they steal from, either — the site lets people choose from a large number of supported wallets.
After a victim has clicked on their crypto wallet provider, they’re taken to another page where they’re asked to share either their crypto wallet phrase, Keystore JSON file, or private key — any of which could lead to their crypto wallet being quickly compromised.
If you come across the website above, do not enter any information on it.
- Double-check people’s contact details — and URLs.
- Reach out to official websites and support pages directly for help if in doubt.
- NEVER use links or buttons from unknown sources! Use Trend Micro Check to detect scams with ease: Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension and mobile app for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links — and it’s FREE!
After you’ve pinned the Trend Micro Check extension, it will block dangerous sites automatically! (It’s available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.)
You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automatic scam and spam detection and filtering (available for Android and iOS).
Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check. For smartphones (where much crypto trading takes place) we’d recommend Trend Micro Mobile Security. Its cloud-based Smart Protection Network™ and Mobile App Reputation technology will stop threats before they even reach you.
If you’d like to read more, you can visit our dedicated cryptocurrency news page. Finally, if you’ve found this article to be a helpful and/or interesting read, please do SHARE with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected.