Paper Bitcoin wallet scam takes to Australian streets

Scam uses QR code promising $16,000 instant reward but empties people’s own crypto holdings.

A new scam is taking over Australian cities, with Bitcoin paper wallets left nonchalantly across streets, that promise finders access to a trove of cryptocurrencies, but which ends up draining thier own holdings.

A report posted by the New South Wales (NSW) Police Force warned that these Bitcoin paper wallets are spread intentionally by malicious parties who lure unwitting Australians to scan a QR code so that they can get a promised AU$16,000 deposit. Instead, the victims are being robbed of their own holdings.

A small fee is required to complete the deposit, and a victim would normally have to provide their own crypto wallet address to proceed.

The NSW Police Force said: “Once the withdrawal fee is paid and person's crypto wallet details provided, the person's cryptocurrency is stolen from their crypto wallets.”

Authorities have advised members of the public to stay vigilant and not scan any QR codes that may be distributed as litter around parks and other public spaces.

Crypto scams are very popular in Australia and Australians are some of the biggest victims of innovative attempts to scam people.

So far in 2022, Australians have lost AU$242.5m to crypto scammers, and the numbers continue to go up.

The news of the new cryptocurrency scam in Australia even made Reddit’s /CryptoScamReport community with users flagging the scheme.

The issue with scams in Australia has got so bad that the Australian Securities and Investment Commission has issued a series of recommendations attempting to help consumers better distinguish between genuine investment opportunities and fraudulent operations that are designed to deceive and rob investors.

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Written by Alex


Alex is a well-rounded crypto writer who focuses on general market and legal developments. His main interest lies in how crypto gaming can become a more permanent part of the gaming landscape and how blockchain holds benefits to players they are not even aware of.

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