The San Juan Daily Star
DACO alerts public to new digital fraud scheme using Coinbase platform
By The Star Staff
Consumer Affairs (DACO) Secretary Hiram Torres Montalvo informed the public Wednesday of an fraudulent electronic scheme involving the Coinbase application, a platform used to exchange money for cryptocurrencies.
“In the past few days, our inspectors have detected another scheme designed to commit fraud against Puerto Rican consumers using the Coinbase application, a portal dedicated to exchanging currencies, including the United States’, for cryptocurrency,” Torres Montalvo said. “This new and well-designed scheme originates when criminal elements send the consumer an email, with all of Coinbase’s information, including its logo. In that correspondence, it is indicated that the person received a shipment of $421.00 and that, to access the funds, he has to press a link provided for it. That link takes the consumer to a page on the internet that simulates everything related to Coinbase; however, it is not the application.”
“By [the fraud victim] simply clicking the link, those behind this fraud have access to the data stored on the access device, be it a mobile phone, tablet or computer,” the DACO chief said. “That in itself is very dangerous and compromises the security of the consumer’s personal information, which is the objective of these criminal elements.”
Torres Montalvo noted that “[s]ome security [programs] in the devices can filter this type of ‘email’ and send it to the ‘Junk’ mailbox, but most go directly to the inbox and the consumer beliefs that it is valid and opens it.”
“Our exhortation is always to ‘click’ on ‘sender’ in order to verify if that address is actually from Coinbase. If it is a fraud, the root of the ‘email’ will not be @coinbase.com and that should be enough to dismiss the message completely,” he said “In addition, if you have not made any transaction with the application, you should also discard the message.”
Torres Montalvo reiterated the call to consumers who have received such emails to contact the agency through the agency’s pages on the social networks of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (DACO a tu favor), as well as the agency’s web page: www.daco.pr.gov.