The Bitcoin Foundation has issued a fraud alert over fake websites that are attempting to steal innocent visitors' bitcoin.
The bitcoin advocacy organisation said in a statement that it knows of two cloned websites, bitcoincompensation.com and bitsecuretransfer.com, which are cloning the legitimate Bitcoin Foundation site and spoofing web addresses and domains.
"Neither of these domains have anything to do with the Bitcoin Foundation," the foundation stressed.
How the scam works
CoinDesk used a dummy bitcoin address to find out what happens next.
Firstly, the site brings up a notification that the user has won a certain amount of bitcoin, in our case 17.4439042675 BTC. They are then asked to "login with Blockchain".
The site then forwards visitors to a site (blockchcain.com) that mimics that of bitcoin wallet and data provider Blockchain. Users attempting to log in and redeem their 'free' bitcoin will actually be giving their password to the scammers.
It is worth noting, however, that the text on the fake Bitcoin foundation site is poorly written and likely not the work of a native English speaker. This makes it simpler for visitors to identify the site as a scam.
Appeal for vigilance
The foundation said:
This is merely one in a long list of bitcoin scams, but what makes these sites notable is the sheer audacity of the perpetrators, who are trying to pass themselves off as some of the biggest names in bitcoin.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.