Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are frequently perceived as a profitable opportunity for investment. However, they also pose threats by attracting malicious individuals who prey upon the limited knowledge and awareness of potential investors.
The Impulse Team is one such group that has been operating an extensive Bitcoin scam network since 2021 with over 1,000 counterfeit websites under their control – representing a serious danger to the unsuspecting investor.
Moreover, the Impulse Team operates a disreputable affiliate program named Impulse Project. This program preys on the innocent by recruiting affiliates to create and distribute fraudulent websites that offer cryptocurrency rewards to unsuspecting users.
These sites falsely claim affiliation with credible cryptocurrency trading platforms, reputable charities, or well-known public figures and use various social media channels such as Twitter, Telegram, or SMS to entice their victims into visiting them.
The false promises of winning a significant amount of cryptocurrency through certain websites are quite common. These sites claim that users have won approximately 0.7 bitcoins, valued at $18,000 currently.
In reality, this is just a ploy to lure victims into registering on the website and depositing a small sum of 0.01 BTC or about $250 to activate their rewards. It is a classic example of advance fee fraud, where victims pay up front for non-existent items.
After making the deposit, the victims are left with empty hands as they never receive anything in return. The money collected by Impulse Team is transferred to their own wallets, leaving the victims in dismay. Websites fake reviews, timers, and chatbots for urgency and trust.
How The Impulse Team Scammed Millions Of Bitcoin Users
The Impulse Team has reportedly constructed an extensive network of deceptive websites that present identical design, content, and database. According to a recent study by Trend Micro analysts, there are over 1,000 domains associated with this scam campaign.
These were all registered over a period spanning from January 2021 to May 2023, and some domain names were attributed to the same individuals on the same day. This suggests that it is indeed a fraudulent operation indicative of the foul play.
The researchers established a connection between the websites by sharing a database. Essentially, this means that if an individual creates an account on one of the platforms, they can use their login credentials across the entire network.
Additionally, the researchers discovered a public Telegram channel that logs transactions for the scam campaign and showcases bot messages whenever a victim makes a deposit.
The Telegram channel reported that the scam campaign has already defrauded victims of over $5 million. However, researchers speculate that this figure may be bloated by artificially generated transactions via bots employed by the Impulse Team to exaggerate their success and attract more affiliates.
How To Avoid The Impulse Team Trap
The Impulse Team went to great lengths to hide their scam from victims. Firstly, they created a fake version of Scamadviser, a website renowned for verifying the legitimacy of online platforms.
Additionally, the copycat site utilizes a similar domain name and logo as the original one but redirects users to fraudulent websites instead of providing trustworthy information, deceiving those who rely on it for predicting scams.
Moreover, the fake website promotes positive reviews and ratings for the fraudulent websites to deceive suspicious users who attempt to verify them online. The Impulse Team strategically uses this tactic to create a false sense of security and trust among potential victims.
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Furthermore, by creating a fabricated anti-scam website, they lure in unsuspecting visitors with the illusion that these websites are reliable and safe, ultimately scamming those who fall into their trap.