Tech

Crypto scammers use fake Amazon Token website to scam victims

In a nutshell: Not only hackers are targeting cryptocurrency fans; scammers are also a common threat for those who love to invest in digital currency. A new phishing campaign is using an Amazon name and a fake news report to try to trick people into handing over cash or cryptocurrencies for a non-existent token.

Researchers from Akamai Technologies (via ZDNet) highlighted the campaign. It starts with social media posts targeted at groups interested in everything crypto related. Clicking on one of the links in the messages leads to a fake website called “CNBC Decoded” that hosts an article claiming that the Amazon Token Presale is coming up.

The fake site only displays for 30 seconds, which is long enough for someone to view it without flagging it as fake, before it redirects to the Amazon Token Project website, which of course isn’t real.

Interested buyers can register an account on the fully functional Amazon Token page. This requires email confirmation, making the site more authentic, and comes with a fake progress bar suggesting the tokens are close to being sold, triggering victims’ FOMO and pressuring them to hand over their payment details. There is even a referral program for friends and family to refer more people.

The site uses a captcha-style check to filter out bots and crawlers looking for malicious content, while also enhancing its apparent legitimacy.

Akamai reports that 98% of the people who visited the fake cryptocurrency landing page were mobile users, most of whom came from the Americas and Asia. The firm reported its findings to Amazon, which has never announced any plans to launch its own digital coin.

Back in July last year, Amazon’s job posting suggested that the tech giant would soon begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for goods, but the company was quick to deny that.


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