Usually, when a cryptocurrency scam gets reported, it happens after someone has fallen victim to the scam. This time, however, a scam involving the upcoming BitTorrent token sale (BTT) has been discovered before it has had a chance to steal from would-be investors.
A short while ago, I got pulled into a Telegram channel called BitTorrent BTT that was claiming to be the “official” channel. With great fanfare, they announced that the BTT token sale had begun and directed users to the supposed token sale website, BTTLaunchpad.com.
On clicking the link, I was taken to a website that is branded to look nearly identical to a page from Binance’s News section (see screenshot comparison below).
Red Flags Abound
Aside from missing layout elements, there are several other red flags that scream “scam”. A quick WHOIS search on the domain name revealed that it was registered just yesterday. The registrant’s information is being hidden and no administrative, technical, or billing contact information is available.
A search of the nameservers (ns1.nmdns.pw and ns2.nmdns.pw) showed that the website is being hosted by ServTech LLC, a cut-rate web hosting outfit operating out of Russia. Binance, on the other hand, is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Another red flag is the payment addresses themselves. Aside from the fact that payment is being requested from outside of the Binance Launchpad platform, the addresses themselves do not belong to Binance.
I compared an actual Binance ETH address with that of the scammer’s address and noticed that the Binance address contained no less than three different markers identifying it as belonging to Binance. The scammer’s address? Not a single marker to be found. You can compare the two side-by-side below:
Fortunately, scammers almost always make a mistake somewhere along the way, and that leads us to yet another red flag – actually two of them. Toward the bottom of the scammer’s website, just under the BTC and ETH payment buttons, it says:
US residents can buy BTT tokens? Really? Oh happy day! Except that they can’t. On January 3rd, Tron posted the following about the BTT token sale on its official blog:
BitTorrent token, which features native TRC-10 compatibility, will be exclusively available to non-U.S. accounts on Binance Launchpad, the token sale platform by leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
So not only are the tokens NOT being made available to US residents, but participants can ONLY buy them through Binance Launchpad. And of course, there’s the fact that the token sale isn’t actually live yet. Neither Tron nor Binance has announced when it will happen.
With all of the excitement brewing over BTT, scams like these are an unfortunate side effect. On the bright side, at least as of press time, nobody has appeared to have fallen for the scam as both the scammer’s BTC address and ETH address are showing zero transactions.
Before you invest in any ICO, STO, or any other crypto project, do your due diligence. Protect yourself and your funds from scammers like these.
Editor’s note: Before publishing this article, BitcoinerX reached out to Binance support who confirmed that BTTLaunchpad was NOT a legitimate Binance web site.
Have you found evidence of any other BitTorrent token (BTT) scams? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Binance, Etherscan, Whois.com, AdobeStock