The crypto arena has not done without its fair share of swindles and cons. Bitcoin has disputed this image ever since its inception and FUD-fueled conventional media channels do not help matters. Social media and search goliaths are equally to blame yet that doesn't stop the Bitcoin bashing.
Endless Fake Google Results For Bitcoin
Researchers have actually found that the majority of links returned in Google search pages for Bitcoin QR code generators are for dubious or scammy websites. Forbes, in its normal Bitcoin-bashing position, reported that it is just another crypto fraud that has and will continue to be a speed bump on the road to adoption.
What it must have reported was that it is a Google scam for allowing these fraudulent links on its online search engine in the first place. The research study reported that 4 out of the very first 5 results provided when querying Google were resulting in fraudster's website.
According to the scientists from crypto wallet provider ZenGo, the QR codes created from one of these fake sites will send the Bitcoin to the fraudsters address. The QR codes are utilized to catch the information by cellphone cams, in this case to rapidly share a Bitcoin address. The researchers included;
“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. 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.”
Conservative calculations indicate that more than $20,000 has been lost to QR code frauds however due to the quite probably lack of reporting for one reason or another, that figure is sure to be significantly higher.
Much like the copy/paste malware that contaminated computer systems a number of years earlier in order to change Bitcoin addresses, this rip-off is simply a quicker version. There will surely and certainly be others and the misreporting that it is ‘furthering negative public understanding around bitcoin and cryptocurrency' is pure FUD. The web itself is awash with rip-offs yet look how adoption of that has gone. And those parts of the Dark Web have been around a lot longer than BTC!
The bottom line is common sense here, Google search results can not be relied on, and neither can anything published on Facebook. Both United States tech giants have been the largest disseminators of scams and fake sites, most of which have given the crypto industry its bad name.
Of course there are bad people out there who can and will do anything they can to separate you from your bitcoin, but we certainly don't want or need big web monopolies transmitting them while benefiting off our personal data and searching habits. As always,be vigilant and stay safe out there.
Image from Shutterstock
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