Beware of Fraudulent/Fake Wallets and Exchanges

Fake Bitcoin wallets abound from time to time. In fact it has fooled the likes of Apple in getting approved at the App Store. According to siliconangle, some wallets to NOT download include:

Also, according to bitcoin.com:

Spotting fake Bitcoin wallets is a bit tougher, because wallets primarily are about storing bitcoin and not buying or selling it. It has less to do with money than it does with the software you may use. Typically, fake Bitcoin wallets are just scams for malware to infect your machine in order to steal your passwords or private keys.

Just like with fake Bitcoin exchange sites, you should trust your instincts and look for red flags. Does the wallet site use HTTPS? Is the name of the wallet site trying to resemble another reputable Bitcoin wallet by impersonating it? Outside of the obvious, it may be hard to tell if a wallet is fake. A good practice is to ask your peers if someone has used the wallet before. You can do this on the Bitcoin Forum or Bitcoin Reddit.

If the wallet is a downloadable client, another good practice is to check the site for malware. Sites like VirusTotal are a great resource for checking executables to see if they contain viruses.

 

 

Regarding fake exchanges, according to bitcoin.com:

Often on social media you’ll see a link saying something like “Buy bitcoin for 5% under market value. Save big!” This is a marketing trick to get you to visit and use their fake exchange.

If you visit any exchange site the very first thing you want to do is make sure it’s HTTPS secured and not HTTP. This means that the web traffic is encrypted and secured; if it’s just HTTP without the “S” that is a big red flag and means stay away.

Another red flag to look out for are fake exchanges that offer selling Bitcoin for PayPal. On these sites you’ll see a web form to enter your PayPal email and amount to sell. After submitting, you will be presented with a QR code to send your bitcoin to. But the money never arrives.

Most of these fake exchanges are here one day and gone the next. You will see them pop up but will quickly disappear, and then re-emerge with a different domain name later.

To be sure you are going to a real Bitcoin exchange, visit our exchange portal on Bitcoin.com to ensure you aren’t being scammed.