The crypto market is absolutely stuffed to the brim with literal truck-loads of money… and hence attracts the kind of greedy, desperate, but ultimately naive users who would sell their own grannies for the chance to get in on the next big breakout coin before anybody else hears about it.
Unfortunately, the criminal community is far too aware of this and employs ever more elaborate tactics in order to scam these poor little lambs out of their hard-earned crypto. They say “A fool and his money are soon parted,” but give a crypto-wannabe just a sniff of triple-digit gains and he will willingly throw caution out of the window, with his tokens not far behind.
One such scam which has been doing the rounds since late 2021 involves a supposed pre-sale on a forthcoming token issued by Amazon. This was originally propagated via fake social media posts that seemed to come from reputable mainstream news sources… and who wouldn’t be tempted if The Guardian or CNBC was informing them that the mighty Amazon was getting into the crypto game?
The latest evolution of the Amazon scam sees it merge with an earlier YouTube con. This sees hackers hijack a popular channel with a large number of subscribers (and preferably a ‘verified’ checkmark), before rebranding as a trusted news source and uploading (or live streaming) video offering an ‘unbelievable’ opportunity to make money.
The key term here is ‘unbelievable’ because, of course, you shouldn’t.
The Amazon scammers are currently controlling at least two verified YouTube channels (@CoinmarketcapEN and @Coinmarketdaily), both of which have been made to look like the genuine @CoinMarketCapOfficial channel, with their home pages even featuring the same video playlists. One of the spoof channels even dwarfs the official channel, with 1.09M subscribers compared to 387K.
Dig a little deeper however and you notice that both fake channels are only actually hosting two (identical) videos. These wrongly state that Jeff Bezos is still the CEO of Amazon, and mention a public sale coming in March or April, but are generally pretty well-produced and fairly convincing to the casual viewer.
Some feature 100+ positive comments from ‘users’ who have supposedly already received their AMZ tokens, and any negative comments have been removed, which just goes to show the lengths that the scammers are going to.
The web page listed in the video description is branded as ‘Amazon Crypto’, and features fake ‘testimonies’ from crypto dignitary, Bobby Lee, and the CEOs of Edge and Atomic Wallet. It also gives you a handy conversion tool to swap from six top cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, USDT, BNB, XRP and ADA) to AMZ.
Fill in the amount that you want to swap and it will gently encourage you to add more in order to get a bonus of up to 200% AMZ. We tried to enter 100 USDT, and although it said that we needed to swap 500 USDT in order to get a bonus, it wasn’t interested in taking our money at all until we raised the amount to 700 USDT.
Click the swap button to receive a deposit address, and then walk quickly away, unless you like throwing your money away.
We checked blockchain explorers for the BTC, ETH and USDT (ERC-20) addresses that we were given and all three were clean unused addresses, meaning we were unable to track how much has been lost to the scam so far.
This latest iteration of the Amazon scam has been professionally produced, and on the surface looks fairly legitimate. So although it is usually us who continue to Observe, we would on this occasion urge you to… and if it looks too good to be true then be aware that it probably isn’t.