Bitcoin Rewards Scam: 1,000+ Fake Websites Involved

In a stunning revelation, Trend Micro researchers have exposed a vast web of deception spun by the Impulse Team that involves more than 1,000 fraudulent websites.

These websites, part of an affiliate program termed the "Impulse Project," have conned unsuspecting cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide through a sophisticated advance fee fraud mechanism.

The scam, which appears to have started in 2021, has remained mostly unnoticed due to its vast, convoluted network. The sheer scale of operations ensures that the full extent of the sham has remained hidden despite the fact that individual incidents were previously reported.

The modus operandi of the scam is rather straightforward, but deceptive. Potential victims are enticed with the promise of substantial cryptocurrency rewards. However, to receive these rewards, victims must first make a "small" deposit to activate their accounts. Unfortunately, those who pay never receive anything in return.

The Impulse Team added another layer of disguise to their con by crafting a counterfeit anti-scam website, effectively cloaking themselves in a veil of trustworthiness. This maneuver ensnared more victims into their web of deceit.

Despite the distributed nature of their operations, researchers were able to connect the dots between the websites through a shared database. As a result, once a victim created an account on one site, the login details would work across the entire network.

According to the public Telegram channel that logs transactions for the sham, victims have lost a staggering sum exceeding $5 million. Although there are suspicions that the Impulse Team manipulates bots to artificially increase the transaction numbers to attract a bigger number of affiliates, the damage that has been done is undeniable.