This morning I received a strange offer through Discord. It was an invite to register at a New Exchange and they promised me 0.44 BTC upon signup.
Well, I immediately thought this was another scam but I decided to check it out anyway. Why? Because I'm a nerd, what else? 🤓
Just to be safer, I protected myself by:
- Opening up a Private Browser Window;
- Register with a very old E-Mail address which I don't care about;
- Created a random password by typing a lot of keys with my eyes closed.
In a few seconds I confirmed my suspicions. First I followed the instructions and they, indeed, credited my "fake balance" with 0.44 BTC.
Afterwards, I tried to Withdraw it... and these clever scammers even tried to make it look legit, by discounting the usual BTC fees:
But, of course, the transfer didn't go through. Immediately, I got a Warning claiming that, since I was a New User, I needed to make a first Deposit of 0.01 BTC in order to be able to make Withdrawals. 🤣 🤣 🤣
This smells and looks exactly like a typical Scam that is over a century old.
It is always a variant of the same scheme. They offer you money but in order to access it, you need to send them a small amount first.
What happens is that the scammers collect these small amounts from people all over the world and never send anything back. When someone falls for it and tries to contact the scammers, they usually claim there was some kind of error and that a second small fee is needed. Sometimes the same person is tricked into sending ever increasing amounts, several times... until they finally understand it was a scam from the beginning.
The scheme originated in the 18th or 19th century and it was carried through regular mail.
The scheme has been evolving, changing a bit and adapting to the evolution of the technology, it was carried through by phone later on the 20th century and nowadays it is very common to see it on the Internet, be it through E-Mail or Social Networks.
To conclude: When someone promises you a sum of money and asks for a small advance fee in return, don't do it. It's not worth losing your money or time over a promise that will probably never be fulfilled.