Scammers Offering Free Cryptocurrency as a Lure to Steal Data
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Cybercriminals are targeting Discord app users with promises of free cryptocurrency. The scammers attempt to lure Discord users into visiting a fake cryptocurrency trading platform to get free Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The fraudsters send private messages on Discord telling the recipient they have been selected to receive a payout of Cryptocurrency. The only thing the victim has to do to receive the payout is to register on a new (but fake) cryptocurrency trading platform.
“The reasons for such alleged generosity vary from message to message, but whether the exchange is supporting traders in difficult times or trying to attract new users, the thrust is always the same: The lucky addressee has been randomly chosen to receive an impressive payout in Bitcoin or Ethereum,” says Kaspersky Labs that discovered the scam.
The message contains instructions and a code for redeeming the coins. It also contains a link, that when clicked on, directs the victim to the fake crypto currency exchange.
How Discord Works
Discord is a mobile and desktop app that facilities communication. It was originally created for gamers to facilitate voice calls, video calls, messaging, and sharing media. Discord users can communicate with direct messages or join groups – usually by topic – called servers.
Scam Cryptocurrency Trading Platform
The scammers behind the fake trading platform (below) have done a nice job making the scam cryptocurrency exchange website look legitimate. The site attempts to add credibility with two-factor authentication (2FA), exchange rates, and even order history.
The scammed Discord users are prompted to make a deposit into their new account. They are also asked to complete a Know Your Customer (KYC) identity verification. KYC is a requirement for banks and fintechs are required to use to help stop money laundering operations.
For financial institutions Know Your Customer verification requires that customers submit a photo identification, physical address, and other personal details.
This is all a scammer needs for identity theft which can lead to financial theft. Large tranches of stolen personal information can be sold on the dark web for use by other cybercriminals.
Of course, there is no free cryptocurrency to be had. The deposit made to verify your new trading platform account is also lost.
How to Avoid Scammers
- Always be highly suspicious of any free offer – especially money
- Never share your driver’s license, passport, or other government ID with a company or business that is not trustworthy
- Don’t give your personal details to anyone who does not need them for a legitimate reason
- Protect your personal details – like birth date, address, phone number, and even email – like gold
- Use a reliable security app like Kaspersky Internet Security to warn you of scam and phishing sites