Bitcoin Scammers Arrested in Britain and Netherlands After Siphoning $27 Million Worth of Cryptos
- Authorities in Britain and the Netherlands have arrested six suspects in connection with a typosquatting scam.
- Though reports do not show what exchange was impacted, it revealed that the theft pulled funds from over 4,000 accounts.
Typosquatting is becoming a common way for scammers to be able to gain the personal information of users, both inside and outside of the crypto industry. It seems that one of the most recent thefts in the Bitcoin world, worth $27 million, is entirely due to just that type of attack. According to reports from the New York Times on June 25th, six people have been arrested in connection with this theft in Britain and the Netherlands.
When typosquatting is involved with this type of attack, the thief only has to change a single letter to completely alter the domain name of the website. With this subtle change, the victim often does not even realize that the website is misspelled before they enter their login information, giving the scammer complete access to their credentials. According to a study by Naked Science, these scammers are drive by multiple different motivates, ranging from satire to “domain parking.”
For this particular crime, the URL hijacking allowed the suspects to create a copy of a cryptocurrency exchange to trick the users into giving up their account information to perform transactions. At this time, the cryptocurrency exchange has not been revealed, which is likely an effort to control the chaos that could ensue if thousands of consumers pulled their crypto assets from the exchange at once.
Still, the report reveals that over 4,000 cryptocurrency holders were impacted, spread amongst 12 countries. From these 4,000+ accounts, approximately €24 million ($27 million in USD) was stolen, all because the scammers managed to fool the owners of these accounts. In total, cryptocurrency criminals account for $1.2 billion stolen from customers this year.
Fortunately, these types of scams are avoidable, if investors act defensively in their transactions. Always check the URL before visiting an exchange’s website to confirm that the spelling is accurate, as this small change could make the difference between being safe and sorry.