Security

Nine QR Code Generator Websites Are Stealing People’s Bitcoins

By Bill Toulas / March 28, 2020

According to an increasing number of reports, there’s a new trend that involves the use of QR codes to steal cryptocurrency transactions. The trick is simple and is based on the use of QR codes for Bitcoin payments. The actors have at least created nice QR code generator websites that supposedly help crypto coin wallet owners share their wallet address with the payers. However, instead of pointing to the user's address, the fraudulent sites are generating QR codes that lead to the scammer’s wallet. Thus, the transactions are hijacked, and all amounts end up on the crook’s pocket.

The following domains have been confirmed to always generate the same QR codes no matter what address the user is entering, linking to five specific wallets belonging to scammers. As for the amount of Bitcoin that has ended up in these wallets, it is 7 BTC, which is approximately $39,400.

qr-code-1

Source: ZDNet

qr-code-2

Source: ZDNet

All of the above domains are hosted on these servers: 207.244.100.245, 207.244.100.241, 207.244.100.244. Other entries hosted on these three addresses include platforms that contain ads for cryptocurrency gambling websites, and also sites that are very deceptively called "Bitcoin transaction accelerators." Some domains of this type found on the same servers are:

These websites' purpose supposedly is to help users to accelerate the approval of Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain and request a fee of 0.001 BTC ($6.3) for this service. Of course, the claims are fake, and any acceleration that the users may experience is either attributed to plain luck or a placebo effect. Still, these websites have collected more than 17.6 BTC, which is the equivalent of about $110,600. The aspect of reaching out to an extensive enough audience (17,600 crypto coin holders) to make these amounts of money is remarkable.

If you need to generate a QR code for your lengthy Bitcoin address, the most reliable way to do it is on your own. There are many QR code generators out there that you can use, as they don't need to be made explicitly for cryptocurrency wallets, so you can create a QR code on these platforms and confirm it yourself. QR codes are admittedly a convenience, but if you're not paying attention to the details, they may act as a liability.



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