A new fraud involving Bitcoin QR code generators has seen more than $45,000 worth of BTC stolen from victims in the last month alone. At least nine websites deceived users into entering their Bitcoin addresses and converting them into a QR code image, which ultimately sent the coins into the scammer’s account.
Beware: Bitcoin QR Code Scams
Generally, Bitcoin QR codes replace the lengthy BTC addresses consisting of numbers and letters. By sharing the code, users can request a payment from another person who can simply scan it with a Bitcoin wallet app and transfer the funds. The internet is full of Bitcoin QR code generators, but, unfortunately, scammers are also roaming the space.
MyCrypto’s Director of Security, Harry Denley, recently found a network of such fraudulent operations. Firstly, he noted a dubious website that converted an inputted Bitcoin address into its QR code equivalent, but the final QR code was always the same – the scammer’s wallet.
Meaning that if the user shared the code he just acquired with someone else, all funds would arrive in the fraudulent wallet. Denley found eight other websites with the same interface connected to the first one. Altogether, they had received more than 7 BTC (approximately $45,000) – most probably from duped users.
According to Denley, the fraudulent websites shared the same servers as more than 450 other similarly suspicious-looking sites. He explained that most of them are scams, containing popular terms such as Gmail, coronavirus, and other cryptocurrency-related entities.
Not The First BTC QR Scam
Another report from August last year indicated that conceiving deceitful Bitcoin QR codes is an infamous endeavor. At the time, other scammers’ addresses had received 21 transactions, equal to $20,000 worth of the primary cryptocurrency.
To avoid becoming a victim of akin frauds, users should take several precautionary measures. Firstly, instead of a simple google search, they should employ a known website, such as a block explorer.
Once the QR code is generated, users can scan it with a wallet app to verify that it’s the same address as the original one.
In case any doubts are left, they can send small amounts to ensure the receiver is who is supposed to be, before sending all funds.