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Bitcoin Scams

Defrauded Hong Kong Investors Demand Refunds After Crypto Mining Scam

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FO6E3842CAC44 - Defrauded Hong Kong Investors Demand Refunds After Crypto Mining Scam

The defrauded investors from Hong Kong that we covered in our crypto news a few days ago, are now asking for refunds from the businessman Wong Ching-kit who lured the investors into a crypto mining scheme.

According to the reports from the South China Morning Post, the investors lost about $25,000 but the sum could potentially turn up to reach $1.2 million.

Wong persuaded the investors to put their money into a bitcoin mining scheme saying that after they buy the equipment to mine digital currency, the investors will make insane profits in a period of three months. The investors agreed after Wong told them they could get their money back after the launch of the coin didn’t make it in time. The Democratic Party announced that more than 20 people sent complaints similar to these ones since October.

One of the investors was quoted as saying:

 “At first, I was told I could get a refund if filecoin could not be launched in time, but when we asked for a refund, he used delaying tactics and made different excuses to turn us down.”

Wong is also the primary suspect in the stunt related to throwing away at least HK$6,000 form a building in the middle of Hong Kong back in December. He did deny the allegations but was actually seen moments before the stunt leaving a car and going to the building after asking people whether they believe that ‘’money could fall from the sky.’’

He also denied the claims of scamming the investors after saying that the investors should always have in mind that there is a slight possibility of losing money in this sector. There isn’t sufficient evidence to prove Wong is guilty but the police will start an investigation into his business practices.

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Bitcoin Scams

Australian Authorities Seize BTC Scammer’s Bitcoin Profit

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Australian authorities seized up to $4,995 after seizing the bitcoin to cash profits of a man who conducted crypto scams and used his earnings to purchase three weapons as we are reading further in the Bitcoin scams news.The Australia Federal Police’s latest annual reports highlight the bust which granted them a total of 2000 percent profit and in it, the Australian authorities sized bitcoin worth approximately AUD7, 300. Despite claiming they had seized the Bitcoins three years ago, it seems that the officials had only secured the gunman’s public key. In other words, they had secured nothing more since the public keys by definition are available to anyone. In 2018, the AEP finally managed to access the wallet after ‘’protracted negotiations’’ saw the criminal forge his private keys. By that time, the man turned the bust into a hefty $105,500 investment.The same year the Australian authorities published a confusing guide under the name ‘’Better practice on identifying, seized and restraining cryptocurrencies’’ where it was written:
 “It was deposited into the Commonwealth’s Confiscated Assets Account. This was the first restraint and forfeiture of bitcoin by the AFP.”
The man refused to hand over his private keys but it ultimately turned out to be a massive boon for the police and then they could easily be described as unwitting Bitcoin benefactors. The gains were so huge that one local report claims that Australia’s financial administrators may have to improve the skills of their staff in coin management and cryptocurrency trading. The prices do not go up in a straight line, of course, so the seizure was fortuitous in the light of the Bitcoin bull market in 2016 and 2017 in particular.Despite the cashing out, it is still very hard to tell which avenue would have been the most profitable for the authorities. The U.K police also recently auctioned more than $662,000 worth of confiscated Bitcoin which is the first time for the country. The smart money, however, should be hold on to. As Tim Draper did and successfully made a profit of about $89 million in the five years since buying Bitcoin in bulk from the 2014 auction.
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Bitcoin Scams

Fake Tor Browser Packed With Malware Has Been Stealing BTC For Years

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A group of hackers are now in the Bitcoin scams news for using a fake Tor browser to spy BTC and steal Bitcoin (BTC) by users. The hackers have been distributing a compromised version of the browser that is packed with malicious tools - used to steal BTC.The trojanized Tor has apparently resulted in a relatively small amount of Bitcoin being lost to date, with funds taken by address swapping when the users tried to pay on dark net markets. This is how the scammers and hackers were discovered by the researchers at IT security firm ESET.In an announcement that was emailed to many cryptonews websites on Friday, the senior malware researcher at ESET named Anton Cherepanov talked about the fake Tor browser and said that the research had identified three Bitcoin wallets used by the hackers since 2017.
“Each such wallet contains relatively large numbers of small transactions; we consider this a confirmation that these wallets indeed were used by the trojanized Tor Browser,” Cherepanov explained.
At the time this research was completed, the three wallets received 4.8 Bitcoin (worth $38,700 at press time). However, ESET said that the actual amount that was stolen would be higher as the wallets for the Russian payments service QIWI are also targeted.The hacking campaign has been targeting the Russian-speaking users of Tor - developing a network which was designed to keep the identities hidden to avoid tracking and surveillance. The cybercriminals who developed the fake Tor browser have been using fake forums and the website pastebin.com to distribute their offering as the official Russian language version of the app.
“Their goal was to lure language-specific targets to a pair of malicious – yet legitimate-looking – websites,” ESET claimed.
On the first website, the fake Tor browser was designed to lure users by sending an alert that their browser is out of date, even though this was not true. Then, the users were apparently trying to update the browser and were redirected to a second website with an installer for the fake app.Once installed, the fake Tor browser full of malware enabled the creators of it (hackers) to know what websites users visit, change the data on the visited pages and grab their content and login information from the data forms.
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Bitcoin Scams

CFTC Files Lawsuit Against $11M Ponzi-Like Crypto Scam

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The latest crypto news show that the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a civil enforcement action against the Nevada-based Circle Society. On October 16, the CFTC files a lawsuit showing that it is charging Circle Society and its owner, David Gilbert Saffron, with "fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation, and registration violations relating to an $11 million binary options scheme.”As the charges show, the defendants misappropriated at least $11 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and US dollars from individuals in the United States in order to “trade off-exchange binary options on foreign currencies and cryptocurrency pairs, among other things.”This is the latest Bitcoin scam which raised the eyebrows of many regulators. Now that CFTC files lawsuit against the Ponzi-like scam, the chairman Heath P. Tarbert said:
“Fraudulent schemes, like that alleged in this case, not only cheat innocent people out of their hard-earned money, but they threaten to undermine the responsible development of these new and innovative markets. America must be a leader in this space, and we will only succeed if these markets have integrity.”
As the details show, the defendants are said to have duped at least 14 people into joining a pool operated by Circle Society, a fraudulent entity created by Saffron, which guaranteed returns up to 300%.Saffron is alleged to have retained the participants' funds in his own personal cryptocurrency wallet and used them to pay the new participants "in the manner of a Ponzi scheme." Right now, the CFTC is aiming to seek civil monetary penalties, restitution, rescission, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as well as trading and registration bans. As CFTC files a lawsuit, it is also aware that there might not be sufficient funds or assets to cover all of its losses.Previously, the news showed that the CFTC sees Bitcoin as a commodity - but the new CFTC chairman said that he believes Ether (ETH) is a commodity and that ETH futures trading is becoming a reality. This shocked many because Ether was not mentioned before by the CFTC.
“We've been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven't said anything about ether—until now [...] It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity,” Tarbert explained.
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Bitcoin Scams

Cyber Thieves Are Harvesting Bitcoin With Low-Cost Software

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Cyber thieves are using a low-cost software to ‘’harvest’’ bitcoin and other altcoins from the wallets all around the world as the security experts found in the latest reports we have in our Bitcoin scam news.According to a report from the cybersecurity specialist ESET, a low-cost software or a piece of malware named Casbaneiro or Metamorpho is claiming a few victims in areas with large Portuguese or the Spanish-speaking populations including Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico but also the United States and Spain. ESET says that this malware is a typical Latin American banking Trojan that aims the banks and crypto services by using social engineering tactics and fake pop-up windows that lures victims into entering the new passwords and login details. The company says that there are four different strains of Casbaneiro that have been detected and have been in circulation since 2018 and all four share almost the same code.The malware is being distributed through emails with links and attachments and once the code reaches the computers, it is able to collect the information antivirus software and OS version information and more. The malware provides hackers with backdoor access for emails and messenger applications such as Telegram. The company claimed for the crypto news:
 “[Casbaneiro] can take screenshots and send them to its server, simulate mouse and keyboard actions and capture keystrokes, download and install updates to itself, restrict access to various websites, and download and execute other executables.”
The company states that the Casbaneiro malware family is related to the Amavaldo another Trojan which targets Latin American online banking and cryptocurrency customers. The cyber thieves also use the on-going cyber-crime campaign named MasterMana Botnet which also targets the cryptocurrency wallets and the company stated that the campaign was first detected in December in 2018. Most importantly, the report claims that the cost to ‘’ deploy and maintain and the campaign was mostly nonexistent.’’ The previous versions included the Revenge Rat software and this Trojan is available online for free on multiple websites which brings the campaign operation price down to about $60. The company described the malware as ‘’old but still highly effective.’’
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