A scam offering access to a nonexistent initial coin offering for Amazon Tokens has already yielded more than US$100,000, according to Avast, which says it has protected more than 300 of its own customers from the scam in the past week.
The scam involves malicious advertisements that imitate legitimate news sites.
Rumours that Amazon will be offering its own cryptocurrency have been circulating since July 2021, and are based on an advertised Amazon job vacancy.
This has not been substantiated, Avast warns, emphasising that there are no Amazon Tokens currently for sale.
But the combination of trust in the Amazon brand and desire to make quick money from investing in initial coin offerings means greed is getting the better of some people.
Clicking on one of these malicious ads leads potential victims to a bogus but reasonably well-contstructed web site purporting to promote the supposed Amazon Token cryptocurrency.
The site also takes advantage of the strength of the company’s Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Gaming brands.
It also employs a common scam (and sales) trick by both imposing a time limit and offering bonuses if the victim purchases immediately.
The site provides those who create an account with a legitimate-looking dashboard allowing the management of the victim’s supposed cryptocurrency portfolio, including the ability to purchase the non-existent Amazon Tokens.
Other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and LiteCoin, are accepted as ‘payment’, and Avast suggests the scammers may also use the victim’s email/password combination in credential stuffing attacks on other site.
The result of the transaction is that the victim has no Amazon Tokens and the scammers have the victim’s cryptocurrency.
Avast says the malicious ads have appeared in Australia, US, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, UK, Ireland, Norway, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Morocco, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Philippines.
The company’s recommendations are:
• Be skeptical of cryptocurrency advertisements and posts on social media.
• Double check URLs and websites before entering details and making a purchase.
• Don’t fall to high pressure tactics that claim “Flash sales”, “only a few left”, “purchase immediately.”
• Do research on what you are about to purchase – look for official sources.
• Report scam adverts and posts when you see them; this may aid in their removal from social media.
This content was originally published here.