As the crypto market is moving upwards, it has given fraudsters more incentive to conduct their operations. In one of their latest moves, the fraudsters have decided to impersonate one of the most respected platforms in the crypto and blockchain industry. In a report, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that these fraudsters were impersonating Blockchain.com, a prominent notable trading and wallet provider. The report brought attention to a company named Blockchain Ltd., which is claiming to be affiliated with Blockchain.com. According to the FCA, the latter operates under the umbrella of Modulr FS Limited and Blockchain Access U.K. Ltd, as its parent entity.
The company had been granted approval for offering its services in the United Kingdom, which means the fraudsters are in direct violation of the financial law in Britain. The FCA said that these phony actors are using the details of authorized firms for convincing people that they are working for a legitimate and authorized firm. In reality, they are not registered and are just targeting users in the United Kingdom. The FCA gave details about the parent companies of Blockchain.com and also provided some contact details that the fraudsters had shared. The agency also issued a warning to users to be careful of anyone who gets in touch with them and identifies themselves to be associated with Blockchain.com.
Such fraudsters are certainly not a novelty in the crypto industry. Since the crypto space has made a move towards mainstream adoption, a number of criminals have attempted to impersonate top crypto and blockchain firms for stealing funds from unsuspected clients. Phishing has been one of the most notable forms of impersonation, where copycat sites are developed to get victims into sharing their information. These attacks are most common with wallet applications and exchanges and they have been rising in 2020.
A wallet service similar to Blockchain.com, Electrum has suffered from a number of phishing attacks. These issues began in 2018, and it confirmed that approximately $1 million in crypto had been stolen by hackers from the users. At that time, there had been 243 BTC held in the wallet address that was linked with the scam. More than 500 BTC has moved in and out of the said wallet address since then and it is now empty. Even after the disclosure, Electrum has been plagued with security issues. It became a victim of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that was quite similar to the phishing scam in 2018, as it used fake software updates for misleading victims.
A post was published by a GitHub user in August, where he claimed to have lost around 1,400 BTC, which was valued at $16 million, to a version of the Electrum wallet that was infested by malware. The user said that after downloading the wallet, he was asked to update his security settings. According to the user, he had to update because it was a prerequisite for making transfers, but once he had done so, his funds were diverted instantly.