The problem with cryptocurrencies scams

Cryptocurrencies are a new digital asset designed to work as an exchange method that uses cryptography to secure transactions. Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin are some of them and they are becoming more and more popular. It is no longer a world for hackers and professional investors. Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. Many uses have been proposed for Ethereum platform. Use case proposals have included finance, the internet-of-things, farm-to-table produce, electricity sourcing and pricing, and sports betting. But the most popular Use Case as of 2017 is blockchain platform for initial coin offering projects, with over 50% market share.

Unfortunately as the price of cryptocurrencies continues to soar, when something becomes popular and valuable, someone ultimately comes along to spoil the fun by trying to scam people for their own profit. Phishing scams for the Ethereum cryptocurrency can land in your inbox.  An email that pretended to be from the legitimate online Ethereum wallet site. If someone opened it they would be brought to a site that looked identical to the legitimate site and after entered their wallet password, the phishers would use this password to a victim’s wallet and transfer the coins to their own.

The new blacklists

Ethereum community works hard to detect and blacklist these phishing sites and creates blacklists of domains with the scammers. In Apility.io we have added these lists to our databases. For start we have three blacklists:

  • EAL-DOMAINS: Ether Address Lookup (EAL) is Chrome extension that adds links to strings that look like Ethereum addresses to your favorite blockchain explorer. It also tries to protect you from being phished by checking a domain blacklist that is constantly being updated. The blacklist curated by EAL is the list provided.
  • ETHERSCAMDB-DOMAINS: Ethereum Scam Database or EtherScamDB is an open source project and website that combines all the information that is available. It also has an easy to use reporting function and add them to the database.
  • METAMASK-DOMAINS: Metamask brings Ethereum to one’s browser through an available plugin for Google Chrome. MetaMask also allows users to run distributed applications directly in the browser. MetaMask takes things one step further as this protocol removes the need to run a full Ethereum node as well. As part of the set of tools available in its Github site, there is a utility for detecting phishing domains targeting Ethereum users.

If you are new to Apility.io, all new users registered have these lists enabled by default. If you are an existing user, you can enable them in the Blacklists option in the sidebar menu.

choose ethereum blacklists from the dashboard
Choose Ethereum Blacklists from the dashboard

If you are going offer a blockchain based service on Etherum, or an ICO, you should consider checking these domains to avoid scammers to steal Ethers to your investors or users.