Bitcoin Phishing Spams Cashing in on the New Tulip Mania

As a spam and scam research I watch new domains being created for malicious purposes. The following domains are look-alike domains of blockchain.info and blockchain.com, two legitimate Bitcoin-related domains:

xn--blckchain-66a.info (blóckchain.info)
xn--blckchain-66a.net (blóckchain.net)
xn--blckchain-m8a.info (bløckchain.info)
xn--blckchain-wxb.info (blōckchain.info)
xn--blckchai-w3a03f.info (blóckchaiń.info)
xn--blckchaln-66a.com (blóckchaln.com)
xn--blckchan-81a8d.com (blóckchaìn.com)
xn--blckchan-i2a8c.info (blóckchaín.info)
xn--blckchin-eza9o.info (blóckcháin.info)
xn--blckchin-m7a96e.info (blōckchāin.info)
xn--bliockchai-s1b.com (bliockchaiņ.com)
xn--bliockci-o8a35ayl.com (bliockcħąiņ.com)
xn--bliokchai-3eb86d.com (blioċkchaiņ.com)
xn--bliokci-u4a5c4s9l.com (blioċkcħąiņ.com)
xn--bliokhai-49ab66d.com (blioċkċhaiņ.com)
xn--blioki-00a0cb4z9l.com (blioċkċħąiņ.com)
xn--blocchai-gmb8m.info (blocķchaiņ.info)
xn--blocchain-orb.com (blocķchain.com)
xn--blocchain-orb.info (blocķchain.info)
xn--blocchin-m7a15c.info (blocķchāin.info)
xn--blockchan-dob.info (blockchaīn.info)
xn--blockchan-ipb.info (blockchaįn.info)
xn--blockchan-n5a.info (blockchaín.info)
xn--blockchin-12a.info (blockchäin.info)
xn--blockchin-61a.info (blockcháin.info)
xn--blockchi-n7a50e.info (blockchāiņ.info)
xn--blockchin-c3a.info (blockchåin.info)
xn--blockchin-ccb.info (blockchāin.info)
xn--blockchin-hdb.info (blockchąin.info)
xn--blockchi-o8a54d.info (blockchąiń.info)
xn--blockchn-fza4j.info (blockcháín.info)
xn--blockchn-n7a43b.info (blockchāīn.info)
xn--blockhai-obb78c.info (blockčhaiņ.info)
xn--blokchain-xdb.info (bloćkchain.info)

These so-called IDN domains substitute characters for easily confused look-alikes. There will be sighted in links inside spam emails as part of Phishing scams.

Phishing is just one of the pitfalls around Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Scammers have revamped the old so called “High Yield Interest Programs” (HYIP), which are really just a Ponzi scheme, to hitch a ride on the publicity around Bitcoin’s stratospheric rise in 2017. If you deposit Bitcoins into an online investment scheme, the scammers can just walk away with your deposit and cash it out into dollars, euros or rubles without being traced.

The latest exchange rate push beyond US$10,000 came on the heels of the cancellation of the SegWit2x fork, a proposed upgrade to the underlying technology that not the entire Bitcoin community was prepared to follow. The driving force behind the upgrade was the urgent need to handle more transactions, if Bitcoin was truly going to be used as a payment vehicle competing against credit cards, wire transfers and PayPal. If new Bitcoins are constantly being mined and the value of Bitcoin goes up but the average purchase the crypto-currency is to be used for doesn’t change much then the system needs to be able to handle more individual transactions.

By cancelling the upgrade, a split of the community has been avoided, but at what cost? It’s really a vote for Bitcoin as speculation object and against it as a viable payment method.

A friend of mine expressed it best when he mentioned that it reminded him of “Pump and Dump” stock scams, only that in the case of Bitcoin it is legal. With all this publicity, existing Bitcoin holders
will be able to offload their existing tokens at huge profits. Then, when people realize that Bitcoin is no longer able to work as an efficient payment system (except for scammers, drug dealers and money launderers who value anonymity), the bottom will fall out and all the recent investors will lose billions. It’s Tulip mania all over.

See also:

Bitcoin Scams – Stay Away!

The relative anonymity offered by virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) makes them an attractive vehicle for criminals.

Recently we’ve seen some scams that involve spam inviting you to send money to a Bitcoin address, offering ridiculously high rates of interest on this supposed investment. It’s a new take on the old High Yield Investment Program (HYIP) ponzi schemes.

In reality there is no way to ensure you get repaid once you’ve sent (virtual) money or that the scammers will be held accountable for the fraud. At best some early “investors” will have interest paid from deposits of later “investors”, who will definitely get stiffed. The scammers can simply exchange any deposited BTC into dollars at a Bitcoin exchange and walk away with the money.

Subject: blockchain doubler.

BLOCKCHAIN BY THE NUMBERS,

9/23/2017 12:58:33 from blockchain support

We are pleased to announce a new product – Bitcoin Doubler,
This is limited offer , 5-10 days.
Bitcoin Doubler is active from 23 September 2017 18:00 Pacific until September 29, 2017 18:00.

You can deposit today 0.2 minimum Bitcoins. Maximum amount of deposit by a natural or legal person is 50 Bitcoins. This is an amazing opportunity to win up to 40 Bitcoins if you invest 20 Bitcoins.

How do you double my bitcoins?

Our automated system gathers information from the blockchain transfers and cryptocurrency exchanges to study and predict the bitcoin price, our servers open and close thousands of transactions per minute, analyzing the price difference and transaction fees, and use that information to generate profit.

Investors who want to apply and invest on Blockchain, please make a Bitcoin transfer to:

147SBxHfuN2KJaLMNGo852gJCm5gCdNvq6

How long does it usually take to receive doubled bitcoins?
We pay to you 10% every hour for 100 hours.
HINT : users who deposit more the 10 bitcoins will get bitcoins doubled in maximum 5 minuts.
users who deposit lower then 10 bitcoins will get bitcoins doubled after 6 confirmations.

To trace your investment please send an email to bitcoin-doubler@blockchain.info , And subject to put your Bitcoin address. The Bitcoin address must be the same as you used to invest. If you put in the email a Bitcoin address you not used to making investments, you will only receive an email with your status. If you submit a correct email with a correct address Bitcoin (the same used to make your placement), you will receive an email with the total Bitcoin invested and the date and time of your payment will be made.

Hurry up! This is a Iimited license, unique opportunity.

Here’s another one, using the name of one Bitcoin exchange:

Subject: WEX. important news!

WEX. Rising ex. BTC-e,

9/22/2017 13:20:27 from admin

Team of WEX is glad to welcome you on our new platform!

This is our first official announcement!
We thank all ex-users of BTC-E for their patience at such a difficult moment for all of you guys.

All users who deposit on our platform will get in 2 days , 40% bonus.
Clients who want to apply now on WEX, please make a Bitcoin transfer to:

1QGbpENUv3xJCtiqTcUPM1Vvnwx5FRR6uZ

Hurry UP ! 4510 clients allready deposit , we have now 4110.562 BTC
Due to a large demand among our customers, we expand our bonus for 10 days.

Check status here : https://blockchain.info/address/1QGbpENUv3xJCtiqTcUPM1Vvnwx5FRR6uZ

We will refund your first deposit with dividends withing 2 days at 00:00 Pacific Time. (For example: investing 3.00 Bitcoins today will return 5.20 Bitcoins after 2 days at 00:00 Pacific time) The profits are withdrawn immediately and Blockchain or WEX waives all rights for 1st level investments.

To trace your investment please send an email to btc-invest@wex.nz , And subject to put your Bitcoin address. The Bitcoin address must be the same as you used to invest. If you put in the email a Bitcoin address you not used to making investments, you will only receive an email with your status. If you submit a correct email with a correct address Bitcoin (the same used to make your placement), you will receive an email with the total Bitcoin invested and the date and time of your payment will be made.

Hurry up! This is a Iimited license, unique opportunity.

Thank you, that you believed in us. Thank you that you are with us.
With respect, WEX team.

Any offer arriving via spam that mentions Bitcoin: Stay away from it!