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Indian Crypto Users Duped Of Rs 1,000 Crore By Fake Exchange


CloudSEK researchers have identified a new scam called CoinEgg, which duped Indian investors of more than $128 million (nearly Rs 1,000 crore). 

“We discovered an on-going malicious scheme involving multiple payment gateway domains and Android-based applications, used to lure unsuspecting individuals into a mass gambling scam,” the researchers explained in a blog post. 

The hackers designed several bogus domains mimicking crypto trading platforms, with the word ‘CloudEgg’ in them. “The sites are designed to replicate the official website’s dashboard and user experience,” the researchers stated, adding that the crypto scam is divided into seven phases. 

After creating the fake domains, the scammers design a female profile on social media to lure the potential victim and establish a friendship. This phony profile is used to entice the victim to invest in crypto and start trading. The profile also shares a $100 gift voucher, which will be deposited when they invest in specific crypto. 

Upon registering and depositing funds on the exchange, the hacker freezes their account to keep them from withdrawing the funds and disappears. If you think the scam ends here, you are mistaken. In the last phase of the scam, when the victims switch to other platforms to share their experience, the hacker uses other fake accounts to reach out to them and pose as if they are investigators.

“To retrieve the frozen assets, they request victims to provide confidential information such as ID cards and bank details via email. These details are then used to perpetrate other nefarious activities,” the researchers said.

The researchers also identified two domains used by the scammers. It was said that both were registered on GoDaddy on March 3, 2022, as part of the strategy to set up several backup domains in the case of a takedown.

Earlier this year in March, the Pune City police’s cybercrime cell detained two specialists — Pankaj Ghode (38) and Ravindranath Patil (45) and an ex-IPS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre, following an exhaustive probe that began in April 2021.

In 2018, Ghode and Patil aided a Pune police Special Investigations squad in uncovering two multimillion-dollar Bitcoin Ponzi schemes. The duo transferred the cryptocurrencies, recovered from the Gainbitcoin scam, and then manipulated the screenshots of those transactions and gave them to the police as proof. However, the technical investigation revealed that there were some bitcoins in the said wallet and Ghode did not give information regarding them to the investigating officer.