As of June 19, researchers at Digital Shadows had found over 100 domains registered relating to Libra and several dozen referring to the associated digital wallet Calibra, with some of them containing malicious content. The firm divided the websites into two groups — those impersonating Libra’s official website, and those promoting scams.
“Instead of relying on media buzz and hype around the brand, these types of scams instead aim to convince victims that they are on a legitimate website, and therefore more likely to trust it with their personal and financial data,” said Alex Guirakhoo, a strategic intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows.
Scammers reportedly use Greek, Cyrillic, and other alphabets that resemble the Roman one used in English to look like the official domain by, for example, replacing a lower-case “a” with the identical Cyrillic character “a.”
Digital Shadows identified one website that offered visitors to purchase Libra with ether (ETH) with a 25% bonus. At least six of the domains reportedly copied the Libra and Calibra website by means of the aforementioned homographic technique. Guirakhoo said that “for the most convincing of sites, it can be nigh-impossible to determine which is legitimate and which is fake.”
As reported yesterday, Facebook removed ads for a bitcoin (BTC) scam that masqueraded as posts by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, after thousands of investors handed over personal information and money to criminals based in Ukraine and Argentina.
In late June, data from Google Trends’ search analytics resource indicated that searches for bitcoin were continuing their ascent the week after the unveiling of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra, even as searches for Libra itself have tapered off since June 18 — the date Libra’s white paper was published.