Bitcoin Scam Artists are Using Fake QR Code Generators: Report

  • ZenGO published report showing crypto scammers are using QR code generators to steal crypto.
  • Scam websites are showing up at the top of Google searches. 

Researchers have issued a warning that scam artists are using Google search results and QR code generators as a potential avenue for fraud.

Fake QR Code Generators

According to the report by ZenGO, four of the first five Google search results for questions like “bitcoin QR generator,” led to scam websites. Rather than generating new wallet addresses for users, these QR codes lead back to the scammer’s bitcoin wallet ultimately causing theft of BTC. 

The report highlighted QR codes as a particularly malicious method for scammers to target crypto wallets, as users are unable to read or differentiate between addresses.

According to the report, 

These sites generate a QR code that encodes an address controlled by the scammers, instead of the one requested by the user, thus directing all payments for this QR code to the scammers.

The report continues, 

Scammers do not even bother with generating their fake QR themselves, instead they shamelessly call a blockchain explorer API to generate the QR for their address.

ZenGO estimates that the simple scam may have already cost users $20,000 in stolen BTC. The company recommends users avoid googling for QR code generators and instead use a trusted block explorer. They also recommend verifying the address of the QR code before sharing it with others. 

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