Dark Web’s Wall Street Market Suspected of Exit Scam
Dark web drugs marketplace Wall Street Market appears to have become the latest underground site to be hit by an exit scam, taking with it an estimated $30m of users’ money.
News has swirled for days that the site’s owners are about to pull the plug, with suspicions raised after an official moderator published a notice claiming that it had suffered a server crash. This meant it was unable to synchronize bitcoin wallets with the blockchain, the individual claimed.
“Due to this incident, we were forced to send crypto assets manually to the waiting list bitcoin wallet, as we have to wait for this process to complete, so that coins can be sent to the appropriate matching escrow wallet,” the post continued.
“Our technical advisors said that the platform will soon shift to the maintenance mode in order to prevent sending of more bitcoins, and they estimated the synchronization process to be successfully completed yesterday.”
However, multiple posts on dark web Reddit-like forum Dread claim this is merely a distraction designed to buy the administrators time while they drain funds, according to Deepdotweb.
Users have also taken to Reddit to complain about problems with the site, suggesting that its owners have decided to exit scam after a large influx of users and money that came from the recently shuttered Dream Market.
Exit scams typically occur when dark web sites stop shipping orders but continue to accept payment. Once a significant pot of money is built up in escrow, the administrators take it and close the site.
This latest incident highlights the continued uncertainty of doing business on the dark web. Law enforcers have done their best to disrupt some of the biggest marketplaces in recent years, notably with the take downs of Hansa and Alpha Bay in 2017.
Things had begun to stabilize since then, but exit scams are a constant concern and widely seen as a cost of doing business on the dark web.
It could be that the administrators of Wall Street Market decided to do a runner with the money rather than face the potential scrutiny of investigators.
Source: Information Security Magazine