Bitcoin: how to check whether an address is scam
Bitcoin: how to check whether an address is scam
Security

Bitcoin: how to check whether an address is scam

By Marco Cavicchioli - 22 Jul 2020

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There is an online service that allows users to check whether a bitcoin address is linked to a scam

It’s called Bitcoin Abuse, and it’s a database that tracks bitcoin addresses used by ransomware, blackmailers, scammers, and other illegal activities. 

The website states that yesterday alone 151 new reports were received, 988 in the last week, and as many as 4,112 in the last month.

A total of almost 77,000 in 2020, most of which were collected in April, while in 2019 there were over 77,000. 

The website allows both to report bitcoin addresses used by fraudsters, criminals and hackers, in order to build a permanent public database, and to check whether a given address is linked to any report received

It also monitors stolen bitcoins to detect when hackers move them to other addresses. 

For example, searching the bitcoin address used to collect BTC via the recent notorious Twitter hack, it turns out that it has been reported to Bitcoin Abuse 77 times, and has received more than 12.86 BTC from 390 transactions

It is also possible to read the reports received, the first of which was collected on July 15th, when the scam was still using the Cryptoforhealth website, i.e. even before the profiles of Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Barack Obama were attacked

This way, when sending BTC to an address without knowing the owner with certainty, and its reliability, it is possible to check on this website whether it belongs to one of those reported as involved in illegal activities, and also read the reports in order to understand how many there are and if they are credible. 

Besides Bitcoin Abuse, there are other similar sites, such as Scam Alert. In this case, it is a platform recently created by Whale Alert, and it works in a similar way. 

An interesting thing, however, is that it also reports a “ranking” of the individual scam addresses that have collected the most, starting from the Ponzi Amfeix scheme that on the 33ns4GGpz7vVAfoXDpJttwd7XkwtnvtTjw address has collected almost 57 million dollars in bitcoin

For example, when searching the address of the Twitter scam, it turns out that it was a fake giveaway reported 86 times even by services such as Bitcoin Abuse and CryptoScamDB. 

The interesting thing about Scam Alert is that it also adds the Status of the address card, revealing in this case for example that it is a confirmed scam. 

In particular, the fact that Whale Alert adds the possibility to confirm the scam helps to have more certainty, although not all scams are always confirmed. 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 25 thousand subscribers.

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