An American, identified only by the initials GR, lost 65.7 million reais in Bitcoin falling into a scam where the criminals posed as employees of the Coinbase brokerage. The information is from the Business Insider.
After being convinced that he was talking to brokerage support, the victim altered several of his account details, as well as granted remote access to the scammer. Resulting in the loss of these millions in just 10 minutes.
Attacks that try to impersonate legitimate businesses are common, the best tip is not to open suspicious emails, as well as not provide personal information or switch your accounts if required. Also, the best option is to keep your funds in your own custody, exchange is not wallet.
After the user bought 200 BTC, in April, at the American brokerage Coinbase, he received a notification that his account had been blocked. In fact this was a fake notification.
An odd point in this case was the coincidence that the notification was received after purchase. It is not clear whether it was pure bad luck for the victim, if the scam targeted more victims, or if there was some monitoring.
The fact is, the victim ended up calling the phone number available on the fake notification. Convinced that he was talking to the exchange’s support team, GR was persuaded to make several switches to his account, including granting it remote access. This led him to lose, at the time, the equivalent of 65.7 million reais in cryptocurrencies.
According to Business Insider, the case was brought to justice and investigators say that around 206 BTC, 7.26 million reais at the current rate, were subtracted from the victim’s account. In addition, he lost an undisclosed amount of another currency, Stellar (XML).
“Once access to the Victim Account was granted, the respondent increased the daily transaction limit and also attempted to disable certain notifications and alert settings in the Victim Account”, wrote Dan G. Boyle, Assistant US Attorney.
The robbery took exactly 10 minutes, taking place between 2:02 am and 2:12 am PST on April 20 of this year.
Investigations managed to find the destination of about 10% of the amount, 10.2 BTC. These bitcoins ended up in another big broker, Huobi Global. A warrant and notice for the recovery of these funds is issued.
Huobi has agreed to freeze the funds until the case finds a resolution. Showing that exchanges are increasingly working together with government entities to solve cases of scams.
Keep safe, try to leave your coins in a wallet to avoid these scam attempts. Remember that it is very likely that Coinbase will not cover any loss to the victim.