Australians are advised not to scan crypto paper wallets found on the street.
Crypto Paper Wallet Scams are increasing in Australia.
Australian Police Warn People
Australians have been cautioned to avoid suspicious-appearing fraudulent Bitcoin paper wallets that trick users into accessing a profitable crypto wallet but eventually deplete their own cryptocurrency holdings.
A Nov. 22 post on the NSW Police Force’s Facebook page claims that the fraud begins with a paper cryptocurrency wallet with a QR code that is designed to look like a genuine Bitcoin paper wallet.
How does a scammer work?
Scammers scatter these crypto paper wallets in open spaces like parks or streets. When a user finds the paper wallet and scans the QR code, a link leading to a cryptocurrency wallet with up to $16,000 Australian dollars ($10,000) is displayed.
The user is then required to pay a withdrawal charge and enter the password for their personal cryptocurrency wallet in order to ostensibly move the sum there.
The person’s cryptocurrency is stolen from their crypto wallets once the withdrawal fee is paid and the person’s crypto wallet information is given, according to the NSW police.
The public has been warned by the authorities to be cautious, and anyone who finds a paper cryptocurrency wallet like this has been instructed not to try to scan the QR code, access the account, or provide any personal information.
They could turn over the wallet to their neighborhood police department instead.
Victim’s Experience on crypto paper wallet scam
This is not the first paper crypto wallet scam to occur in Australia. A Reddit user started a thread over three months ago claiming to have discovered a paper cryptocurrency wallet and labeling it as potentially fraudulent.
Numerous additional people answered with their own accounts of discovering crypto paper wallets on the street, at the beach, and in parks.
Because they could see the wallet address and the transactions on-chain, one user, Pinnymc, said they nearly fell for it. They claimed that the webpage likewise seemed legitimate.
Pinnymc claims that they were suspicious due to the 0.5% transaction fee.
I should be able to withdraw money and the transaction charge should be deducted from the balance if this wallet is legitimate. It’s a shame because this appears to be authentic, the user said.
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According to data from the Australian consumer watchdog’s Scamwatch, Australians have already shown themselves to be particularly vulnerable to investment and cryptocurrency-related scams this year, losing 242.5 million Australian dollars to con artists thus far in 2022.
The nation’s federal law enforcement agency has also called attention to the criminal use of cryptocurrencies as a rising threat, although it has been noted that it is difficult to keep up with criminals who frequently alter their strategies and tactics.