Scammers Target Would-Be Libra Crypto Buyers With Fake Site

Buyer beware: the difference between ì and i can mean the loss of a few thousand dollars if you're not careful.

AccessTimeIconJun 24, 2019 at 11:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:21 a.m. UTC
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Several exploitative websites launched over the weekend aiming to separate credulous Libra investors from their cash.

Though Libra has not seen its public debut, the media buzz around it has piqued some would-be investor’s attention. While the majority of searches around buying Libra are focused on how to exchange it for BTC, according to Google Trends and Reddit, some nefarious scammers are hoping to ensnare the hapless trader in a supposed Libra pre-sale.

One site, calìbra.com, (note the ì) is a mirror image of Facebook’s legitimate website, calibra.com, as noted by The Next Web's Hard Fork.

The artifice begins by switching the normal English i for a a grave accent ì. Those unfamiliar with Alcozauca Mixtec, Italian, Sardinian, Taos, Vietnamese, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic or the constructed language Na'vi, may have the unicode character – that Hard Fork reporter Matthew Beedham confused for a bit of dust.

Most prominently, the false site is allegedly offering "Pre-Sale Libra Currency" ahead of the official launch -- something that Facebook itself hasn't expressly announced. Specific prices include 600 "LBR" for 2 ETH, and 8,000 LBR for 20 ETH. This pre-sale buy option is placed in the same spot as the "Get Started" button on the official Libra page.

The website itself presents a range of differences when compared alongside Libra's official page. Similar components, including the actual text on the page, make them seem the same, but the fraudulent one itself looks a bit less polished.

Lighter ideas (but not scams)

While this particular scam – hosted in Russia, no less – is an obvious ploy to capitalize on the general incoherence of Facebook’s plan, some of the chicanery put online is of a more derisive sort.

Zuckbucks.cash offers visitors the option to swap ethereum for ZBUX, “an ERC20 token which can be used to do absolutely nothing.”

“Want to buy a cup of coffee with your ZBUX? Too bad! Need to pay your bills? Better use another currency! Want to pile on to Mark Zuckerberg's already incredibly overinflated bank account? Now we're getting somewhere!,” according to the website.

Indeed, if Facebook is behind zuckbucks, it surely would be the quickest and most convenient way to “feed Mark Zuckerberg’s insatiable greed.”

The masterminds behind zuckbucks promise to spend the funds they collect on gas and kick the remaining balance up to the dev-team. They write, “Just like LIBRA, Zuckbucks offers no inherent benefit besides putting your money directly into the pocket of the developers.”

Of the 1.5 million ZBUX available, 961,845 are currently in circulation.

Correction (6/26/2019): This article has been edited to remove language and structure that was similar in nature to the source material. The headline of this article has also been updated for clarity. 

Mark Zuckerberg photo via Shutterstock

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