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Canadian Bitcoiner Scams the Scammer, Donates Proceeds to Bitcoin Venezuela

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Canadian Bitcoiner Scams the Scammer, Donates Proceeds to Bitcoin Venezuela

Canadian Bitcoiner Scams the Scammer, Donates Proceeds to Bitcoin Venezuela

Ben Perrin, a Calgary-based bitcoin enthusiast who runs an educational YouTube channel dedicated to enlightening the masses on all things cryptos, has succeeded in beating scammers in their own game and he’s donated the proceeds to Bitcoin Venezuela, a platform that helps Venezuelans buy groceries with cryptos, reports CBC on August 7, 2019. 

Perrin Beats the Bitcoin Thief

As bitcoin and other crypto-assets keeps growing in value and use case, fraudsters keep advancing their “crypto-thieving” skills and expanding their networks to both online and offline channels in order to defraud others.

However, in the latest development, Ben Perrin, a bitcoin enthusiast and marketing director for a bitcoin trading venue who also runs an educational YouTube channel that teaches the public about blockchain-based digital assets, has proven too hot to handle for the fraudsters.

Specifically, an unnamed scammer messaged Perrin via Instagram, offering to double every bitcoin he sends to their wallet every 24 hours.

The scammer said:

“It’s a bitcoin mining investment platform for investors interested in starting their own bitcoin mining business but are unable to do so because they do not want to go through the difficulties and stress associated with setting up a bitcoin mining venture.”

The fraudster further promised Perrin that the proceeds from the fake crypto mining scheme would be sent to his bitcoin wallet automatically on a daily basis.

Perrin Plays Along 

Instead of ignoring the scammer, Perrin decided to play along, pretending to be a crypto newbie interested in their get rich quick scheme.

He reportedly sent a fake bitcoin wallet statement to the fraudsters and lied to them he had previously been contacted by another investment team with a more juicy offer but he needed to be sure that the scheme was for real.

“I told them I would gladly invest $20,000 with them if they would simply send me $100 back, I could then return it to them, just to ensure that the project was legit,” declared Perrin.

Interestingly, the scammer fell into Perrin’s trap and sent him 50 USD instead of the requested $100.

Unfortunately for the bad actor, once Perrin got the funds, he quickly made it clear to the scammer that he was well aware of their plot and was just catching some fun.

He then donated the $50 to Bitcoin Venezuela

Commenting on the matter, Sergeant Matt Frederiksen of the Calgary police economic crime unit reiterated that though Perrin may have succeeded in scamming the scammer, the police does not encourage members of the public to engage in such an act, as it could be a dangerous thing to do.

Frederiksen also revealed that there have been 21 cases of fraud through crypto payments amounting to $1 million in the region in 2019 alone.

Scam News

Accounting firm recovers Cryptopia records to help return funds to victims

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Accounting firm recovers #Cryptopia records to help return funds to victims

The remaining funds left on the hacked New Zealand exchange can now be proportionally returned to its users.

People who had funds on collapsed crypto exchange Cryptopia are now more likely to get back roughly what they had on the exchange.

In January, hackers stole 9.4% of New Zealand-based exchange Cryptopia’s holdings, worth $16 million. But while the remaining money stayed in the exchange’s control—it lost its records showing how much each customer held on the exchange. That meant there was apparently no way to determine how much each person could get refunded.

Cryptopia hired the New Zealand-based arm of accounting firm Grant Thornton to sort out the mess. Today, the firm revealed that it got hold of the only remaining record of the funds held on the crypto exchange, which went into liquidation in May. That, of course, was key to figuring out how to proportionally divvy up the remaining funds to the exchange’s 900,000 customers, whose funds were frozen.

Grant Thornton said the data is now held in a “safe non-hacked environment.”

It turns out that some of the chaos was due to users’ funds being stored in a few large cryptocurrency wallets, rather than in individual wallets. The only thing tying some 400 different cryptocurrencies with each of its 900,000 customers’ claims to ownership was the exchange’s own record—which was somehow… lost.

Accounting firm recovers Cryptopia records to help return funds to victims

Accounting firm recovers Cryptopia records to help return funds to victims

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Blockchain News

Chainalysis Reveals Real-Time Suspicious Cryptocurrency Transaction Alerts

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Chainalysis Reveals Real-Time Suspicious Cryptocurrency Transaction Alerts

Leading blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has just revealed new tools to help cryptocurrency companies stay compliant with regulators. The firm’s existing “Know Your Transaction” (KYT) platform will now provide real-time alerts to companies using it.

The alerts will give the company accepting payment with a reading of how likely Chainalysis deems to the funds to have been involved in money laundering or other financial crimes. The service will be available for all fifteen cryptocurrencies currently supported by the blockchain investigation company.

Chainalysis Expands KYT Platform for Cryptocurrency Companies

According to a report in financial news publication HedgeWeek, the blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis has just launched new tools to help cryptocurrency companies remain compliant in an ever-changing regulatory environment.

The latest weapon in the company’s arsenal aimed at reducing the risks of companies handling funds involved with money laundering is a real-time alert system to Chainalysis’s Know Your Transaction service. The firm believes that the upgrade will substantially reduce the risk of a cryptocurrency-related service accidentally facilitating financial crimes.

One of the biggest concerns of companies like Chainalysis is the heightened risk of money laundering enabled by cryptocurrency.

According to John Dempsey, the vice president of product at Chainalysis, the new service is a response to the intensifying regulatory scrutiny towards the industry in recent years. He stated of the upgrade:

“Every minute counts when managing exposure to sanctioned entities, hacked funds, darknet markets, and other illicit activities, which is why Chainalysis is investing in fast, actionable alerts to help our customers mitigate risk across cryptocurrencies.”

The new suspicious transaction alerts will provide companies with an assessment of each transaction they receive. It will categorize them as either Severe, High, Medium, or Low risk based on various metrics.

The idea is that companies transacting frequently with cryptocurrency will be able to inspect each transaction they receive for the likelihood that it was involved in some financial crime. They can then take action if necessary. This might involve banning the user from the service and/or rejecting the transaction.

As you might expect, the tool has been welcomed by cryptocurrency exchange operators, themselves victims of perhaps the most regulatory scrutiny both today and likely going forward too. Gemini’s Chief Compliance Officer, Michael Breu, stated the following of the update to the KYT platform:

“Tools like KYT alerts, which provide real time and ongoing blockchain analysis, coupled with Gemini’s own compliance policies, help us meet our regulatory obligations.”

Such tools may well prove useful in examples in policing against cryptocurrency-related fraud like the recent PlusToken scam. In this example, the company duped thousands of investors to send more than 1,000 BTC to wallets under their control. Those investigating the case believe the funds are making their way to popular exchanges way in blocks of around 50 or 100 BTC per occasion.

Chainalysis is one of the leading companies dedicated to investigating blockchain-enabled crimes. The company has worked with several influential government agencies around the world to improve law enforcement’s efforts to bring criminals using cryptocurrency to justice. It also provides frequent reports about the state of Bitcoin ownership, and is often the source of the consistently-reported “X number of Bitcoins are lost for good” statistics.

Chainalysis Reveals Real-Time Suspicious Cryptocurrency Transaction Alerts insta

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Scam News

Never Underestimate a Cryptocurrency Dusting Attack

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Never Underestimate a Cryptocurrency Dusting Attack

Never Underestimate a Cryptocurrency Dusting Attack.

In the cryptocurrency world, there are numerous attack vectors. Users need to be aware of all potential problems at every waking moment. Dusting attacks are seemingly becoming slightly more common over the years. It is a very troublesome attack, as it can break [perceived] privacy of cryptocurrency transactions. Why anyone would organize a dusting attack, is a question which remains very difficult to answer. 

A Dusting Attack is Troublesome

Over the past few years, the term dusting attack has come by quite often. It is a very interesting method, although one which can also have nefarious consequences down the line. The main purpose of executing a dusting attack is to effectively break the privacy of any cryptocurrency transaction. This is achieved by sending fractional amounts of coins to personal wallets randomly found on that cryptocurrency’s blockchain. In the case of Bitcoin and Ethereum, obtaining such addresses is not all that difficult.

Every time such a transaction is received by a wallet, it leaves a trail of digital breadcrumbs. By following the trail back to the attackers, it is possible to perform an analysis of several cryptocurrency addresses. This can be a useful tool in terms of building an identity of specific wallet address owners. This is very problematic for both individual users and companies alike. While Bitcoin is not privacy-oriented, it offers pseudonymity. If that layer is removed, one has to wonder how the exposed information will be used by attackers.

Not a Cheap Attack

In the dusting attack, criminals will try to send fractional amounts of cryptocurrency. Although this can be as small as one Satoshi per transaction, a large-scale attack can still add up to a high overall cost. The reason for these small amounts is to ensure users don’t grow suspicious of these incoming transactions. Very few people would even notice such small incoming transfers. This leaves a lot more room for attackers to put together the information on wallet address they are looking for.

What is interesting is how there are different types of dust in the cryptocurrency industry. It all depends on which blockchain is being attacked. Moreover, all of those projects have their native software clients which determine such low transaction limits on their own accord. In Bitcoin’s case, there are various dust limits for SegWit and non-SegWit transactions alike. Pulling off a successful dusting attack on Bitcoin is not difficult, but there are certain aspects to take into account at all times.

The Bigger Picture

To most people, a dusting attack seems harmless. There is a chance some wallet addresses may be associated with one another. On paper, that is not a big deal or something worth losing sleepover. In reality, however, this information can be sued for much worse attacks down the line. Particularly when it comes to ransomware, extortion, phishing, or other types of scamming, such information can prove very useful in the long run.

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