Australians have been cautioned to avoid suspicious-appearing fraudulent Bitcoin paper wallets that trick users into accessing a profitable crypto wallet but eventually deplete their own cryptocurrency holdings.
Scammers scatter these in open spaces like parks or streets.
A Nov. 22 post on the NSW Police Force’s Facebook page claims that the fraud begins with a paper cryptocurrency wallet with a QR code that is designed to look like a genuine Bitcoin paper wallet.
When a user finds the paper wallet and scans the QR code, a link leading to a cryptocurrency wallet with up to $16,000 Australian dollars ($10,000) is displayed.
According to the NSW police, “Once the withdrawal charge is paid and the person’s crypto wallet details are provided, the person’s bitcoin is taken from their crypto wallets.”
The user is then required to pay a withdrawal charge and enter the password for their personal cryptocurrency wallet in order to ostensibly move the sum there.
The public has been warned by the authorities to be cautious, and anyone who finds a paper cryptocurrency wallet like this has been instructed not to try to scan the QR code, access the account, or provide any personal information.
They could turn over the wallet to their neighbourhood police department instead.
This is not the first paper crypto wallet scam to occur in Australia. A Reddit user started a thread over three months ago claiming to have discovered a paper cryptocurrency wallet and labelling it as potentially fraudulent. Numerous additional people answered from all around the nation with their own accounts of discovering paper cryptocurrency wallets on the street, at the beach, and in parks.
Because they could see the wallet address and the transactions on-chain, one user, Pinnymc, said they nearly fell for it. They claimed that the webpage likewise seemed legitimate. Pinnymc claims that they grew suspicious due to the 0.5% transaction fee.
I should be able to withdraw money and the transaction charge should be deducted from the balance if this wallet is legitimate. This seems so authentic, it’s such a shame,” the user said. According to data from the Australian consumer watchdog’s Scamwatch website, Australians have already shown themselves to be particularly vulnerable to investment and cryptocurrency-related scams this year, losing 242.5 million Australian dollars to con artists thus far in 2022.
The nation’s federal law enforcement agency has also called attention to the criminal usage of cryptocurrencies as a “growing menace,” but claims it is difficult to keep up with offenders who frequently alter their strategies.
- Australians urged not to use any crypto paper wallets they come across
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