Uphold Crypto Exchange Subject of Black Friday Crypto Email Phishing and Spoofing Scam Sale
Even as days merge into one nightmare for the tumbling value of the Crypto sphere, there is one group that is still in love with it, scammers. With the annual mega sale event, Black Friday around the corner most have been gearing for the festivities of capitalism. Thu,s few would suspect something amiss when a particular site/ brand proffers great discounts; offers that would ordinarily be looked at with great suspicion. These expectations were exploited by some smart scammers who were able to email people something that looked genuinely sent by the crypto exchange Uphold.
What Exactly Happened?
It has been reported that some creative con artists hatched a simple scheme to celebrate the blockbuster sale day. In the last couple of days, many people in the Uphold database received what appeared to be a promotional email sent by the company, to advertise its mouth-watering offering of a 15% discount on Bitcoin.
For the uninitiated, Uphold, formerly Bitreserve, is a growing cryptocurrency exchange and payment service based in Charleston. It was founded in 2013 by tech entrepreneur, Halsey Minor.
The scam was first picked up the eager community at Reddit. The Basic Attention Token team posted a screenshot of the dodgy scheme and warned the community to be alert and aware. It is rather admirable that, unlike other such campaigns, this work of scummy brilliance is well done. In fact, most of the readers would have no reason to doubt the legitimacy of this email. It is well written, contains no silly errors and the presentation is professional.
The Reddit post, written by a member of the team, simply warned “We are receiving reports of a scam email posing as Uphold and offering a 15% discount on Bitcoin for Black Friday… I have confirmed with the Uphold team that this is indeed a scam.”
Rather disconcertingly, it has also been noticed that many email services are yet to pick up the phishing attack. In today's time, when people are increasingly dependent on their mail servers to be smart enough to filter out these sort of attacks, it is certainly alarming that they have altogether failed in their flagging process.
The promotion itself is rather simple. It purports a “Bitcoin Bucket Discount”, for participation, those interested are told to transfer their Bitcoin to a wallet. After a while, the participants will receive the Bitcoin back with a 15 percent markup. The note ends with “Participants will receive the cash back rewards once the campaign ends which is on Black Friday.”
What Happens Next
It had been reported that owing to this controversy there is a “temporary lockdown” of all Uphold services, ostensively to protect the accounts of its customers. However, later sources have been able to verify that Uphold is still permitting withdrawals of Bitcoin.
Uphold has yet to respond to individual news outlets, however, they have addressed the concern via Twitter. The Uphold handles @UpholdInc posted on the 21st of November” Uphold HAS NOT BEEN HACKED. Uphold’s mail service account may have been compromised. We are investigating, and suspending BTC withdrawals until we have been able to communicate with all members that would have received phishing email.” The message is to reassure the public that things are under control However it concedes that their mail servers have been compromised. thus allowing scammers to spoof this email.
It is indeed a little strange that the scammers decided to strike at a time when Bitcoin prices are already on firesale discounted rates. With all that has been going on in the market, this news comes at the most inopportune of times.