‘Blockchain Recovery’ Scam Is Posing as a Legit Firm, UK FCA Warns

Nasdaq

An audacious new scamming syndicate is targeting cryptocurrency investors by imitating a legitimate firm supervised by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator said.

The “clone” outfit has been emailing and cold-calling investors and impersonating Gain Capital UK Limited by attaching that (legit) company’s Firm Reference Number to a fake name, “Blockchain Recovery Association,” an FCA blog post states. (To be clear: Gain Capital UK Limited is a real company that is authorized by the FCA to carry out certain services.)

How To Get Free Crypto  

“Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm,” the FCA said. 

Related: Crypto as a Payment System? Here We Go Again

“Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. [The Blockchain Recovery Association] is not authorised or registered by us but has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorised firm.” 

The fake firm has listed its address and phone number as: Cambridge Court 210, Shepherds Bush Rd, Hammersmith, London; +44 555-183-726. CoinDesk reached out to this number and received a “this call cannot be completed as dialed” message (555 numbers, traditionally used for directory assistance, often indicate fake numbers).

Impersonating legitimate organizations is a longstanding, and unfortunately often effective, practice among scammers. In the U.S., for example, mortgage fraudsters have posed as government housing officials from the Great Depression well into the 21st century. Email phishing scams can be thought of as a low-effort digital version of the same ruse.

Coinbase Banner  

While the FCA post does not explicitly state the nature of the cloned firm’s chicanery, the fraud appears to be an attempt to trick crypto users into exposing the private keys to their holdings or other personal information.

‘Tis the season

Related: Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Warns of New Bitcoin Regulations

The scam identified by FCA is perhaps a reminder that, as crypto becomes more institutionalized, scammers will find newer (and bolder) ways still to filch what they can from this trillion-dollar asset class.

Traditionally, an easy attack vector for hackers and like have been phishing attacks. With these attacks, malicious actors trick crypto users into entering sensitive information, like a password or private key, on a website or through a messaging medium to gain access to accounts or coins.

Alternatively, these actors may use personal contact information like email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses to extort and threaten victims. 

FreeBitcoin Banner  

In the past, data leaks from hardware wallet Ledger and crypto lender BlockFi, among others, have led to phishing or extortion attempts. As bitcoin and other coins rise in price, scams and fraud are matching the market demand, with fake wallets even making their way on popular app stores.

A name like “Blockchain Recovery Association” should set off alarm bells anyway, since, as many crypto users have learned the hard way, once coins have been stolen, they cannot be recovered.

Related Stories

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Go to Source
Author: CoinDesk


Recommended Crypto Services, Products and Strategies:

The first thing any crypto investor needs is is a reliable and secure Crypto Wallet.  Whether you’re looking for an online wallet, hardware wallet, desktop or mobile wallet, Crypto Renegade provides you with all the Best Crypto Wallets in each category.

Best Crypto Wallets Banner

When you’re ready to buy more crypto, or exchange your coins for others, Crypto Renegade’s list of the Best Crypto Exchanges has you covered.  The Crypto Exchanges recommended here offer everything from simplicity and convenience to advanced trading platforms and profit sharing. 

Best Crypto Exchanges Banner

If you want to learn more about the methods and tools that can be used to find Great Crypto Projects, then be sure to check out Crypto Renegade’s strategy for How To Find The Best Cryptocurrency.

Crypto Strategy Banner

For those people that don’t have any money to invest right now, or just want to understand the technology a bit more, you’ll definitely want to check out Crypto Renegade’s Free Crypto Strategy and start collecting Free Coins today!

Free Crypto Banner

What do you think about cryptocurrency? Do you have any questions about it? Be sure to leave a comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.