Author – Sam Reeds, UK
Phishing scammers managed to steal over $1 million worth of Ethereum posing as a Bee ICO public- token sale. Beenest is a crypto startup that hopes to use the blockchain technology to revolutionizing the home sharing industry occupied by AirBnB and others. Its Public ICO sale started on Wednesday after a successful private sale.
The scammers seem to have executed their operation creatively using emails ending with @thebeetoken.com. The company acknowledged on its official Twitter account that the attack took place and a warning and prevention measures are in place to protect other contributors. In the last two days, the Beenest Company has been warning its contributors to ignore direct communications sent to them and verify the token sales on its official website. It is not clear how the scammers got access to the companies’ emails. The scammers used email, Telegram and QR codes telling people to invest quickly to increase their returns.
The company responded to an email that surfaced online states that it does not communicate an Ethereum address through an email or Direct Message to you via Telegram. The email appeared to be on different versions and some went further to promote a non-existent partnership with Microsoft.
The Ethereum addresses involved in the scam have been identified and as the blockchain ledger keeps all records of transactions, they appear to show activity just before the scam started. Account balances for the three accounts range from $100,000 to nearly $600,000.
The ICO market has been over the spot now with regulators as most scammers and fraudsters are targeting them. The level of a possible scam attack is high that fake Vitalik Buterin and Charlie Lee twitter accounts have surfaced online. A recently released report on ICOs and security by E & Y, states that ICO is becoming the main target of hackers for the high amounts they are able to raise. These come as investors are being promised a safer service on the blockchain and unfortunate for ICO offering as the market is gaining more mainstream attention.
Speculations have however surfaced with social media users claiming there should be a direct reason why the phishing scam was so successful. The scammers made it appear like the emails were from official Bee Token addresses, leading to victims to claim there was a direct link of the Phishing scheme and the official addresses. The scammers seem to have used a complex Gmail trick that allows users to insert to their email addresses only after subscribing to mailing list.