Maximum Vigilance Required – As might be feared, no sooner did PayPal announce that it would be offering Bitcoin and a few cryptos to its users when crooks attempted to take advantage of it. Scam attempts are increasing to exploit this innovation, prompting some police services to react and prevent.
Fake emails, real data theft
It has been less than 3 weeks since digital payments giant PayPal announced that it was integrating Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin cash (BCH) on the accounts of its US users.
However, in the meantime, cases of scams relating to this news have already been reported to law enforcement, so much so that the Northumbria Police Service (in the north of England) have published an official press release on the subject on Twitter:
“A message for all PayPal users. Please read the cyber tips below regarding fake cryptocurrencies from a circulating fake PayPal email address. If you believe you have been affected by this issue, please contact @actionfrauduk. “
A classic phishing technique
As detailed in the UK police warning message, the scam consists of a PayPal-mimicking phishing email . The latter claims that the victim would have a payment in cryptocurrency pending from „Cryptocurrency Exchange LLC“ .
Obviously, the link in this email does not lead to anything other than a fraudulent copy of the PayPal site. The goal is either to recover the identifiers of the victim’s PayPal account, or to extract his credit card data .
In this situation, one should not just not follow up on this email, but also report it . This can be done either directly through the e-mail service when the latter integrates this function, or by forwarding the e-mail to an address dedicated to phishing scams.
We must always keep this good reflex (even more in the cryptosphere). When an email like this drops right on a hot topic, it’s usually a very bad sign. This has been the case with crooks exploiting the Covid-19 crisis and then PayPal’s crypto news today. Keep your eyes peeled !