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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Scammers launch toll free 'customer support' numbers posing as Binance, Coinbase and others - stealing the crypto of those who call...

I've covered a variety of scams in the cryptocurrency world, more than I wish I had to, and one thing i'm noticing is - they just keep getting bolder.

Until now things have missed that 'personal touch' - awhile ago the big hustle they had going was just making fake exchange sites and when someone entered their login info, it would really just send the victims username and password to the scammers - just those old phishing tricks that have been around since the internet.

Then they moved on to posing as celebrities on Twitter, and running fake "crypto giveaways" - but of course to receive your free crypto, for some reason you had to send them some first... I still don't know how anyone falls for that.

There's a variety of others, too many to list here, but my point is they were all done by some guy hiding behind a computer screen, who was never seen or heard.

But now - they're getting their victims to actually call them on the phone!

So here's how it works - the scammers now have real, toll free phone numbers, and they're posting them everywhere they can.

I've found these numbers showing up as the customer support lines for a variety of well known cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain based products and services  - Binance, Coinbase, Ledger, Tezos, Bittrex, Kraken and others.

Then to insure the phone numbers that belong to them show up when someone does a Google search, they've created pages on a variety of popular social networking sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, and GitHib - many that appear to have been operating for weeks now...

Fake CoinBase support on LinkedIn.

Fake Binance support on LinkedIn.

Fake Binance support on Facebook.

Fake Binance support on GitHub.
So then, to find out exactly how the scam works - I had to call them myself.

Once I dialed some kind of automated system picked up immediately and placed me on hold, classical music then began to play - to their credit, it really was feeling like a typical customer service call experience. But after sitting on hold for about 15 minutes, I just hung up.

I figured I would try again the next day... but to my surprise - they called me!

The first call I placed to them was around 1pm in the afternoon here in San Francisco.  But the return call I was receiving came in at 2:20am - a pretty clear sign that these guy's aren't in the USA.

I answered and they informed me they were with "blockchain support" - which makes sense because they can't say which exchange they're from, because they don't know which exchange I was calling them for - they spam out the same phone number for all of them!

I stayed on the line just long enough to get the rundown of how they pull it off - first they have you download TeamViewer, for those who aren't familiar with it, it allows two people to connect to each other and one to control the other persons computer.  It's a program used for a variety of legitimate reasons, but it's a dangerous tool in the wrong hands.

What they then do it have someone log in to their account, seize control of the computer, and while under the scammers control they will send all of your cryptocurrency to their wallets.

The most popular numbers associated with this scam I discovered are:

888-884-0111
888-399-2543
800-631-6981

I'm only putting them in this article for one reason - now when someone does a Google search to see if the phone numbers are legitimate - they'll find this.

Be careful out there and remember - never find contact info for an exchange anywhere except their official site.
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Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Ross@GlobalCryptoPress.com Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk