Wasabi Wallet is one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets for privacy-focused BTC holders, but scammers have thrown a spanner in the works. Scammers have cloned the wallet’s website and are allowing users to download their version of the wallet, which is jam-packed full of malware. For the time being the malware is only downloadable on Windows, leaving the Mac OS and Linux downloads pointing to the original files from the real Wasabi site. It’s the first time anyone has cloned the Wasabi wallet and planted malware in the Windows download, but it’s likely not to be the last.
Watch Out for Fake Wallets
Spotting the fake website is relatively easy – if you know what to look out for of course. The genuine Wasabi Wallet website is https://wasabiwallet.io/, whereas the clone website packed full of malware is http://www.wasabibitcoinwallet.org/. Note that the fake website isn’t utilizing SSL and is using a slightly modified version of the original URL. This is a relatively easy scam to spot, and hopefully it hasn’t fooled too many people. For the time being the scam website has been taken down and is showing a simple index page – but that doesn’t mean it won’t return.
Cloned Websites are Common
Unfortunately, scammers are cloning websites left, right, and center in a bid to steal cryptocurrencies. Back in February, scammers decided to clone the Bakkt website and encouraged visitors to send Bitcoin to an address as part of a funding round. However, Bakkt isn’t using any form of public funding to get off the ground – meaning any Bitcoin sent to this address is going straight to scammers, not Bakkt. Sadly, this trend will only continue and there is no way to prevent it from happening. Once projects and companies notice, they can do their best to have the fake site taken down and warn users, but it often takes time and people still seem to get duped.
Exchanges Being Named in Fake Partnerships
Another popular con is when scammers claim their fake trading platform is a sister company of a big exchange. This type of scam hit Korbit in recent weeks and it forced the popular crypto exchange to issue a warning on its home page, telling customers that it has nothing to do with the scam exchange. Untold numbers of people have been scammed using this method, with their funds being lost forever.
Scammers will always exist in the crypto world, and there is nothing we can do to make them vanish. The best weapon of defense is common sense and when used properly scammers have no hope of succeeding. Always type out the full URL of a website, check SHA-256 signatures before installation and if in doubt, contact the company just to make sure.
Were you affected by the fake Wasabi Wallet website? Have you ever encountered a similar scam? Let us know in the comments below!