4

I got this message below.

enter image description here

I signed up for a lot of giveaways without thinking, but I don't remember this one specifically. Is it a scam? Their site looks pretty cool: [link redacted to minimise the risk of others clicking on it, as it's probably hosting malware of some sort]

I signed up with my email and redeemed the code and it shows I got 14k in my account, but I can't withdraw the money without giving an address? Which is kind of weird. How does this scam work?

enter image description here

5
  • 6
    Obviously the 14k in the account isn’t real and you’ll provide them banking information to transfer the nonexistent money out, they will then either sell your bank info/identity or use it to drain your account then sell your info.
    – quid
    Jun 24 at 4:26
  • 2
    Perhaps "address" refers to a bitcoin address rather than a home address.
    – Flux
    Jun 24 at 7:47
  • Did you actually enter the contest for Aionbtc?
    – Freiheit
    Jun 24 at 13:16
  • @Freiheit I have no idea. Jun 24 at 14:04
  • "Address" is probably a Bitcoin address where you want to send the money to. Which is perfectly normal.
    – user253751
    Jun 26 at 7:07
17

Trying to withdraw the money to a valid Bitcoin address gives the following message:

Withdrawal request popup

The site requires you to "verify" your wallet by making a deposit, very likely making it a variant of the common advance-fee scam.

3
  • thanks for sacrificing your own address for the sake of this answer Jun 24 at 14:03
  • @JohnnyRobertson What do you mean by "sacrificing an address"? No "sacrifice" was necessary.
    – Flux
    Jun 24 at 15:31
  • @Flux I think Johnny thought it meant the street address where you live
    – user253751
    Jun 26 at 7:07
14

You didn't explicitly ask "is this a scam" but yes, this is a scam. There are no cryptocurrency lotteries, people don't randomly contact you out of the blue with offers of large sums of money unless there is some nefarious purpose associated with it.

In terms of "how does this specific scam work" - who knows, it could be anything from identity theft, stealing your bank account details when you provide them to access "your winnings", demanding a fee to access "your winnings", using your account for money laundering, to probably 100 other options I haven't even thought of.

I would encourage you not to think in this way ("how does this scam work") at all. It doesn't matter how it works or whether you can figure out the exact details - it's just a scam and the right answer is to ignore, delete, block and move on. You can't "get one over the scammers" by figuring out how it was meant to work and cheating them at their own game, they literally spend all day every day working on these systems and experiencing all the things that the victims do / try to do so they can adapt their systems accordingly.

In response to the comments noting that it's still important to be able to recognise red flags, I'll note some of them here:

  • You are contacted out of the blue, not in response to something you signed up for
  • There is some sense of urgency associated with it (making sure you don't take too long thinking about it)
  • You are required to hand over personal information in order to access your "winnings"
  • You are required to pay some money in order to access your "winnings"
  • The domain was created incredibly recently (google "whois" and the site URL to get the creation date)
2
  • 1
    You can't get one over, but understanding how common scams work makes it easier to identify them. While this site is rather obvious, a more clever scam could be harder to spot without knowing that "requiring an advance fee to withdraw money" is a telltale sign of a con. Jun 24 at 9:19
  • 4
    @MaciejStachowski Knowing the "tell-tale signs" is important, and should be encouraged. Vicky's point is that once you start to see the red flags, there's no point in worrying which of the methods a specific scam uses.
    – TripeHound
    Jun 24 at 10:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.