Scammers have reportedly left fake crypto fiat wallets in public places as part of a scam to trick Australians out of their cryptos. Australians have been warned to stay away from suspicious-looking fake Bitcoin BTC tickers at $16,604
Paper wallets work by tricking victims into accessing a lucrative crypto wallet but will ultimately take away their crypto holdings. According to a Nov. 22 post on the NSW Police Force’s Facebook page, the cryptocurrency paper wallet scam begins with a QR code that looks like a legitimate Bitcoin article wallet. Scammers spread them in public places like streets or parks.
The person who finds the paper wallet and scans the QR code is instructed to click on a link to access a crypto wallet containing up to 16,000 Australian dollars ($10,000). The person is then asked to pay a withdrawal fee and provide their wallet credentials, which allegedly allow them to transfer the funds to their crypto wallet. “Once the withdrawal fee is paid, and the person’s crypto wallet details are provided, the person’s cryptocurrency will be stolen from their crypto wallets,” NSW Police explained. Authorities have urged the public to be cautious. Anyone who comes across a similar paper crypto wallet should not attempt to scan the QR code, access the account, or reveal any personal information. Instead, they should hand over the wallet to the nearest police station.
This is not Australia’s first instance of a paper crypto wallet scam. Over three months ago, a Reddit user started a thread in which they reported finding a paper crypto wallet and labeled it as a possible scam.
Hundreds of other people from across the country shared their own stories of finding paper crypto wallets in the street, on the beach, and in parks.
One user, Pinnymc, said they almost fell for it because they could see the wallet address and the on-chain transactions. They also stated that the website appeared to be genuine.
However, Pinnymc claims that the 0.5% transaction fee made them suspicious.
“If this were a genuine wallet, I should be able to withdraw and the transaction fee deducted from my balance.” “It’s a shame because this appears to be genuine,” the user commented.
Australians have already proven particularly vulnerable to investment and crypto-related scams this year, losing A$242.5 million to scammers in 2022, according to data from the agency’s Scamwatch website, Australian Consumer Control. The country’s federal law enforcement agency has also highlighted criminal use of cryptocurrency as an “emerging threat” but says it’s challenging to keep up with criminals who are constantly changing tactics and methods.