#Crypto scam : Krista Gable’s adventure is a free lesson for all #domain investors

Krista Gable is a motivated domain investor, with a diversified portfolio focused on new technology. Krista shared the news about her sale of Mindification.com a week ago, but she has a more important story to tell.

When people get scammed, denial kicks in first, then anger, and finally shame. But there’s nothing wrong about acknowledging reality, and last week Krista became the victim of an elaborate scam involving domains and fake Bitcoin exchanges, resulting in financial loss.

Here’s Krista’s adventure, and cautionary tale for all domain investors to take notice:

I previously posted about a recent sale I concluded. I want to take a minute to talk about what happened to me, and I hope that my cautionary tale can prevent others from falling prey to the same scheme.

I was solicited privately with an offer to purchase one of my domains with cryptocurrency. The buyer suggested a crypto-escrow service, and after a review, the site seemed legitimate. The domain had a fair amount of traffic and a social media presence so the offer seemed reasonable, and I didn’t question the amount.

There were safeguards and even optional two-factor authentication. Once the sale was completed, the bitcoin seemed to appear in my account balance on the service.

The problems began when I tried to withdraw the cryptocurrency. The site would not process a transaction without verification.

The terms of use indicated I had to send a small amount of crypto to verify the account in order for the withdrawal to be processed. I did, but then they wanted more. I realized that I was potentially the victim of a scam.

I reached out to some of my colleagues in the industry to discuss my situation. The site in question was crexbtc.com, but there are many variations. Because of my quick action and the assistance of Epik I got  my domain returned.  I share this story not for sympathy or pity but for education.

According to my research after the fact, this type of Bitcoin scam has been in use for some time. Hopefully, my notoriety and large social presence can do some good in stopping this from happening to others in the future.

I want to thank Epik and Rob Monster for acting so quickly to assist me.

We researched the Bitcoin scam’s particulars, and we can conclude it’s widespread and primarily operated by criminals in Russia and Eastern Europe.

The scammers themselves utilize accomplices that appear to be from Asian countries such as Hong Kong, the mainland of China, or Singapore. These accomplishes initiate the offer for domains of value, typically in the $10,000 USD range. They offer to pay in Bitcoin, and once the domain seller is baited in, they insist that the exchange takes place on some legit-looking platform.

The Bitcoin scammers establish legitimacy of these platforms by creating a platform that looks and functions like a legitimate crypto exchange, complete with blog articles and terms & conditions pages.

They use .com domains mostly, but also .XYZ. .ORG and other TLDs. They build content that is then dispersed on fake crypto news platforms which they also operate. Within a month or two, these web sites acquire backlinks with “news” articles that help lower the future victims’ concerns.

When searching for these fake crypto exchanges, a potential victims encounters articles with fake investments, funding, and overall a positive vibe; the scammers actually pay content writers real money to create content that reads like legitimate articles!

While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are becoming adopted by major platforms such as PayPal, domain investors should utilize the services of proven escrow platforms such as Escrow.com to be 100% certain about a transaction’s outcome. If you must use Bitcoin, use a crypto exchange platform such as Coinbase or Binance. Never use illegitimate platforms that you’ve never heard before.

Krista Gable is not the only victim of this elaborate Bitcoin scam, far from it. You can read more stories from domain investors that lost their domains, BTC, or both at a live thread at NamePros.

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3 Responses to “#Crypto scam : Krista Gable’s adventure is a free lesson for all #domain investors”
  1. MapleDots says:

    It’s so nice to see a registrar where the owner is actively involved in the domaining industry. All the other issues with Epik aside, it goes to show when one needs their registrar to come to bat Epik is fast to help its members.

  2. Glad the seller got the domain back. These things do happen, however, one needs to know that there are many legit services that can handle the Bitcoin without exposing ones self to both domain and money loss.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Grammar Nazi says it’s “accomplices”.

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