US Authorities Freeze COVID-19 Website Alleged Scammer Tried to Sell for Bitcoin

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The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Safety (DHS) have seized coronaprevention.org, alleging its proprietor tried to promote the area for bitcoin after posting about it in a “hacker’s discussion board.”

Introduced late Friday, the unidentified proprietor of the positioning tried to promote the area to an secret agent with the Division of Homeland Safety’s Felony Investigations unit, who mentioned they needed to use the positioning to promote pretend COVID-19 testing kits, a plan the proprietor reportedly mentioned was “genius.”

In accordance to a warrant connected to the press launch, the proprietor of coronaprevention.org, referred to as “Topic A,” listed the area for sale on a discussion board “identified to deal with content material associated to, and populated by customers concerned about, hacking and hijacking on-line accounts” a day after U.S. President Donald Trump declared a nationwide emergency due to the virus.

The secret agent reached out, and Topic A allegedly mentioned they had been charging $500 payable in bitcoin for the area (in accordance to the warrant, such domains are often nearer to $20). The agent in the end despatched a partial fee to an undisclosed bitcoin handle.

The information comes on the heels of the DOJ’s announcement that it had “disrupted” tons of of domains that had been getting used to shill scams associated to COVID-19.

A listing of the domains seized was not obtainable, and it’s unclear whether or not Friday’s seizure was associated. Nevertheless, earlier this week a DOJ spokesperson instructed CoinDesk, “The division is conscious of the reported enhance in COVID-19-related fraud involving varied digital fee platforms and appreciates the proactive help of many within the cryptocurrency neighborhood to thwart these schemes.”

The spokesperson didn’t reply to a observe up query about which entities it was working with.

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