New Bitcoin Scam Uses Celebrity Endorsement Lure to Trick 250,000 Users

Another devious bitcoin scam has unfolded that leveraged PII to trick victims into enlisting to a dubious investment site.

What happened?

This three-stage fraud involved attackers creating websites that imitated various publications renowned in the targeted countries. These websites contained fake comments and interviews where celebrities praised a cryptocurrency trading platform. This was a setup designed to attract users to register for a crypto investment scam.

Some facts you should know about

  • Around 250,000 unique records of potential victims were discovered by researchers.
  • Most of the victims belonged to the UK (147,610), closely followed by Australia (82,263), South Africa (4,149), the US (4,147), Singapore (3,499), Malaysia (2,491), and Spain (2,420), among other countries.
  • This scam is eerily similar to the Bitcoin Evolution scam reported earlier in February. However, this one resulted in the exposure of a massive amount of sensitive information.

Recent bitcoin scams

  • Scammers were found using bitcoin vanity addresses, that allow users to add a custom word in their wallet addresses, to lure victims with using celebrity or brand names.
  • Three YouTube channels were hijacked and renamed to ‘SpaceX’ or ‘SpaceX Live’ to run promotions for these scams.
  • In June, scammers created a site impersonating the legitimate note sharing service privnote[.]com for bitcoin theft.

The takeaway

Bitcoin investment scams are nothing new and they are being spotted by researchers on a frequent basis. However, the latest scam shows that threat actors have upgraded their tactics and techniques. The amount of personal information leaked is consequential and provides malicious actors with many opportunities to conduct further attacks. Thus, users are advised to stay vigilant and employ caution while browsing any such online schemes that seem too good to be true.