Scammer sympathizes with victim, returns 75,000 XRP

In what some crypto fans describe as a “glimmer of hope”, a scammer returned all monies stolen from an XRP holder last week after the victim pleaded, asking for funds to be returned.

The phishing campaign netted XRP holders

In a Twitter thread on Jan.11, the community noted that a scam artist had set up a fake Ledger Live website for “updating” firmware. Ledger Live is an interface for users to “explore” web3 and, among other things, buy their favorite cryptocurrencies, grow assets, and manage NFTs. It can be downloaded on desktop or mobile, and Ledger said over four million users use it.

Unfortunately, several crypto and XRP holders fell for the trap. They downloaded the app, only to realize later that they had lost all their hard-earned funds in the cold wallet, Ledger. Ledger is a popular hardware wallet that millions of crypto holders use to store several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and XRP.

It needs to be made clear which phishing site it pointed. However, every clickable link from the platform downloaded malware to the legit Ledger firmware, allowing the attacker to take full charge of stored coins. Those impacted included a holder with over 75k XRP she has been accumulating for the past six years.

The Plea

Writing to the scammer, the 59-year-old XRP holder and single mother said she wasn’t “wealthy” or a corporation. Instead, her XRP haul has been a six-year hard work working extra shifts so that she could have something to save.

She signed off by acknowledging that it was a “long shot” for the scammer to have a change of heart. However, should it happen, she left a new XRP address to “reverse the tragic mistake”.

Surprisingly, the scammer returned the first 50 XRP before sending the whole amount, 75k XRP, in the subsequent transaction.

Screenshot from Bithomp explorer

Another affected user said the website has since been reported to Twitter and Ledger, so no one else falls for the trap. However, whether he has received funds from the scammer needs to be clarified as of writing. He’s working with authorities.

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated, stealing from unsuspecting crypto holders. The immutable nature of crypto means that once funds are transferred from one address to another, they cannot be reversed. However, the transparent nature of public chains means the identity of perpetrators can be decrypted.

As reported earlier, Binance and Huobi coordinated to block a North Korean hacker group from cashing out millions of dollars’ worth of ETH stolen from the Harmony Bridge.

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