Malicious QR Bitcoin Codes Stole $45,000 in March

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In Brief
  • Scammers are using malicious QR codes to steal BTC from users.

  • They managed to steal around $45,000 worth of Bitcoin in March alone.

  • Fake 'Bitcoin transaction accelerators' have also been on the rise and have stolen some $100,000 worth of BTC from users.

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Security researchers have uncovered nine websites that are using malicious QR codes to scam users of their BTC.

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Amid the current chaotic global situation, hackers are inventing new ways to steal BTC from users. A recently uncovered QR code method stole some $45,000 from individuals during the month of March.

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Malicious QR Codes

QR codes remain a popular way to transact BTC, but some security researchers are sounding the alarms and telling users to be cautious.

According to findings uncovered by security researcher Harry Denley, nine websites have been exploring QR codes to steal funds. [Hot For Security] These sites create QR codes for users with Bitcoin addresses. However, the fake QR codes generated actually end up enriching the websites and are a hoax. Thus far, they have stolen around $45,000 worth of BTC during the month of March.

The sites are as follows:

• bitcoin-barcode-generator[.]com
• bitcoinaddresstoqrcode[.]com
• bitcoins-qr-code[.]com
• btc-to-qr[.]com
• create-bitcoin-qr-code[.]com
• free-bitcoin-qr-codes[.]com
• freebitcoinqrcodes[.]com
• qr-code-bitcoin[.]com
• qrcodebtc[.]com

There is no reason for users to rely on third-party sites to create QR codes. It can easily be done in most Bitcoin wallets, so this risk can easily be avoided.

Other scams include “Bitcoin transaction accelerators,” which have used a similar tactic. Altogether, the study finds, these accelerators have stolen some 15 BTC so far from users, which comes out to around $100,000 at the time of writing.

Scams Run Rampant

Scams continue to cause a headache for those of us in the cryptocurrency space, so users should always be on alert.

A recent method was uncovered where scammers threatened entire families with coronavirus if they failed to provide ransom in BTC. Other scamming attempts, however, are far more malicious. As BeInCrypto reported, one 75-year old in the United Kingdom was scammed out of her entire life savings. Ponzi schemes promising returns still run rampant in the space.

One persistent scam which continues on YouTube is ‘live YouTube giveaways.’ These videos disguise themselves as official but are in reality just a way to extort users. Often, they feature a recycled video of a major cryptocurrency figure and a request to send funds to a certain address while promising returns.

In short, if a cryptocurrency deal is ‘too good to be true,’ it almost often is. Users who are veterans in the cryptocurrency space already know this but those new to the industry may not. Therefore, it is always good to report such scams so they cannot harm more people. It is only by cleaning up the cryptocurrency industry of these scams that the blockchain space can reach more mainstream adoption.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.
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Raised in the U.S, Lucian graduated with a BA in economic history. An accomplished freelance journalist, he specializes in writing about the cryptocurrency space and the digital '4th industrial revolution' we find ourselves in.

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