Pirate Chain Sees Booty Stolen by Hotbit Listing Scammer

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Pirate Chain, a pirate-themed cryptocurrency, has seen some of its booty stolen by fraudulent Hotbit representatives. The scam, which even involved the picking of fake marketing materials for the launch, is a stark reminder of the lengths scammers will go to in order to compromise their target.

Telegram Strikes Again

Captain Dreath, a high ranking member of the team who lists his position as ‘Marketing, Outreach, Support and Media Liaison’, took to the group’s Discord channel to explain how he had gone through a detailed listing process with purported Hotbit representatives, only to find out too late that they were imposters.

The initial contact came through Telegram when an individual approached Dreath with an offer to list Pirate Chain on Hotbit the exchange, which already represents something of a yellow flag – in the words of Alec Guinness describing Mos Eisley, crypto Telegram can be a “wretched hive of scum and villainy”. Dreath says that he did his “normal due diligence” and, after negotiations, settled on a 50,000 ARRR ($13,000) listing fee, which he sent over. What followed was a process involving the filling out of official-looking forms, negotiations with Hotbit ‘developers’ about integration, and even the choosing of promotional material.

Money for Market Testing

Dreath began to feel uneasy when his contact asked for 5,000 ARRR tokens for “testing their market making so it doesn’t break”. He then spoke to several other projects that had listed on Hotbit, who said that they had never paid such a fee. Dreath then spoke to other Telegram admins who said that his contact was indeed an imposter, at which point Dreath realised that the entire process had been a scam, right down to choosing the pictures for the marketing material. Dreath promised to put up 50,000 of his own ARRR tokens to replace the lost funds, promising “not let this happen again”, as well as applying to the “real Hotbit exchange”.

A Cautionary Tale

While Dreath can be criticized for not contacting real Hotbit Telegram admins initially as part of his due diligence, the lengths the scammers went to in order to make the deal seem genuine marks another step in their evolution. Dreath says the documentation they provided was indistinguishable from the real thing, and any reasonable person would not expect a scammer to go to the lengths of drawing up agreements and creating imaginary marketing material when the money has already been made.

Dreath’s experience reiterates the importance of doing everything possible to establish the identity of anyone who contacts you out of the blue before having any further conversation with them.