Silk Road Bitcoin auction bidders targeted in phishing scam

A leaked list of people who had enquired about the auction for Bitcoins from the “dark market” Silk Road provided a target for phishing scammers – and at least one site fell for the scam emails.

A reported 100 Bitcoins ($63,300) were stolen from Bitcoin Reserve via a fake login page which harvested email credentials, according to TechCrunch’s report.

Coindesk reports that the scam targeted individuals on a list of people who had expressed interest in the auction for Bitcoins from Silk Road. The list was leaked after a member of the U.S. Marshals service used CC instead of BCC on an email.

Fake interview scam

The scam email – which the Wall Street Journal said had been forwarded to several people on the list, said, “I work for BitFilm Production. We are currently putting together some media for a client regarding the Silk Road seized Bitcoin auction by the USMS. I am hoping you could spare five minutes to review my interview questions and see if you would be willing to participate as a source. ”

While Bitfilm production is a real company, they had not sent the emails.

Interested parties who replied to the first email received a second email with what appeared to be a Google Document – instead, the link led to a scam site which required an email login.

A staff member at one firm, Bitcoin Reserve, logged in – and scammers then used his password and email to send a request to staff at the firm to forward Bitcoin to an online ‘wallet’.

100 Bitcoin stolen

Around 100 Bitcoin – worth $636 each at the time of writing, according to – were transferred before the scam was uncovered, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Marshalls service said in a statement, “We encourage anyone believed to be a victim of a phishing scam to contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities. The FBI is the investigative agency for phishing scams in the United States. Go to for additional guidance.”

TechCrunch commented, “Given the irreversible nature of Bitcoin transactions I’d expect these scams to happen more and more often.”

Users of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been repeatedly targeted with scams and malware attacks in recent months. Read further We Live Security stories about Bitcoin.


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