So this site has a long history with scammers. One of our most popular posts way back in 2005 was documenting a run in with a scammer on a Yahoo Personals. It got thousands of hits, and is probably the most popular thing I ever wrote here. Anyways, as one who is involved in crypto, and frequents many Discord servers, I get targeted from time to time. One happened earlier this week. I got the following DM on Discord. I ignored it for a few days, then finally decided to take a nibble. My altruism will get me one of these days.
I knew it was a scam at first, but I was curious as to what the game would be, and interested to know if I could waste this asshole’s time and keep him from other marks.
Now I’ve seen this one before. It was about a year ago, maybe two. The play is to get you to sign up on this exchange, but of course it’s fake. There’s usually some sort of deposit required to verify your account or some other trap to remove funds from suckers. My curiosity peaked, so I checked the site out. I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DO THIS! I had a lapse in operational security when I did this earlier. My VPN proxy was not activated, and I may have inadvertently exposed my primary public IP to the operators of my house, potentially flagging my address as a high-value target. That said, what I saw on the site was quite impressive.
So, you may be asking, what makes me so sure that this is a scam and not an actual legit site? Well, flag number one: no Twitter. Neither by username, nor by search term. I I did find an ICO platform called CoinPlace, which means the scammers may be trying to count on some association confusion. Or their just lazy. Now this was enough for me, given the Discord message. I was already done. More important things to do. That and I felt I may have already exposed myself.
Of course I wanted to be a bit more sure before posting all this, so I did a bit more homework. Flag number two: the domain is less than 10 days old. This in spite of the assurance that the company has been around since 2013. And flag number three: the name Cryptual, mentioned on the front page. The only hit I could find for that is a LinkedIn page for Cryptual Limited, which was apparently founded in 2017 but links to a dead domain.
So, apologies to the Cryptual team, if they actually exist, but I wanted to write up this dissection of the XCoinPlace scam and help get the word out, maybe save people some hassle. I’ll count success given how quickly this site goes down. And in the off chance that it is legit and not associated with my Discord friend, (not likely) they can reach out to me on Twitter to convince me otherwise.