Scam alert! Police warn of fake paper crypto wallets

Scammers have been distributing fake paper wallets in public places to lure victims and steal their cryptocurrency. The fraud has been going on for at least a few months.

QR code displayed on the smartphone

Australian police have warned citizens of a scam involving paper cryptocurrency wallets. Fraudsters scatter them around in public locations such as parks or streets as a decoy to lure potential victims. The wallets are designed to look like the real thing. They are marked as a "paper wallet" and contain a QR code and the Bitcoin logo.

After scanning the code, the user is asked to click on the link to access the wallet with funds up to AUD 16,000. Next, they are prompted to pay the withdrawal fee and provide their crypto wallet credentials to be able to transfer the assets to their address. Once the victim sends the money and discloses the wallet details, their balance is emptied. New South Wales Police Force detailed the scheme in a post on Facebook.

NSW Police scam alert
Source: NSW Police Force

NSW Police caution residents to be alert and not scan the QR code or disclose any private information in response if they stumble across an alleged paper cryptocurrency wallet. The scam has probably been going on for some time. On the forum, reports of such incidents date back to July 2022. Unsuspecting interlocutors discuss whether it's pointless or not to handle it to the police so that they trace it back to its legitimate owner.