Facebook’s newest foray into the cryptocurrency space has been stirring up some intense debates ever since the platform unveiled its project Libra. With all the limelight, the project has managed to attract scams and mockery projects.
Even though Libra hasn’t made its public debut yet, the constant buzz around it has managed to keep it under the limelight. And all that attention in the media has managed to pique the interest of some prospective investors. A group of nefarious scammers are targeting prospective traders and investors, ensnaring them in a supposed Libra pre-sale.
The scammers are tricking people into believing and participating in the fake Libra pre-sale through a website calìbra.com, which is literally a mirror image of the legit website of Calibra Facebook’s subsidiary. The actual website is calibra.com, while the imposter website has the subtle difference of the letter ‘i’; the scammers have switched the usual English i for the grave accent ì. The difference is admittedly rather minute, and could be easily ignored by anyone who isn’t specifically looking for it.
The website launched by the scammers has copied the legitimate website comprehensively, from having the same marketing materials, wordings, fonts, interactive displays, slogans, right down to the color scheme. However, like the slight difference in the URL, the website has subtle differences as well. Although they can only be observed if both the legitimate and imposter websites are compared side-by-side, only then the latter appears to be askew.
Furthermore, on the top right corner of the imposter website, there is a virtual button which reads “Pre-Sale Libra Currency”, as opposed to the simple welcome of Facebook’s Calibra website that reads, “Get Started”. Upon clicking the “Pre-Sale Libra Currency” button, the user is redirected to a new webpage that claims to offer a 25 percent for trading Libra. The scam website claims, “better act now, as the pre-sale is 93 percent complete”.
Moreover, the site offers traders with various swapping options; one is that they can trade in 600 LBR (Libra) for 2 ETH (Ethereum), another offers them with a chance to trade up 8,000 LBR for 20 ETH.
Reportedly, this scam is being hosted from across the border in Russia. It’s pretty obvious what the scammer’s intentions are: it is their scheme to capitalize off of the hype around Facebook’s forthcoming project, fooling people into believing in the pre-sale of arguably the most hyped cryptocurrency of the year.
The social network giant’s crypto endeavor has been surrounded by a fair amount of skepticism since its announcement. Several government officials, companies and individuals don’t seem have faith in Zuckerberg’s stable coin.
A new platform dubbed Zuckbucks.cash, has been formed with the sole purpose to mock Project Libra. The platform even has a made-up native token called ZBUX, which is an ERC20 token founded by anonymous cryptocurrency enthusiast and can be used to do absolutely nothing, per the website.
Zuckbucks.cash offers its visitors with an option to swap in ZBUX for Ethereum, in order to “feed Mark Zuckerberg’s insatiable greed”, according to the website. The platform welcomes its users with a statement that takes a dig at Libra, which reads “Why to buy Libra when you can throw your money away”.
The site while further explaining the ZBUX token, states that you cannot buy coffee or even pay any of your bills through the token; however, if you are willing to throw your money away on something like Facebook’s Libra, then you might as well throw away the money on a useless parody token, ZBUX.
The anonymous founder sure is going to great lengths to mock Mark Zuckerberg along with his crypto project, as the platform blatantly calls out Facebook for “milking its users for their data already and now it is going to build a centralized currency in disguise of a cryptocurrency”, under the “Why ZBUX” section.
Furthermore, while explaining the token distribution process, it states:
Any extra ETH sent will be donated to the developers. Just like LIBRA, Zuckbucks offers no inherent benefit besides putting your money directly into the pocket of the developers.
The website could easily fool people into believing that the “meme token”, as ZBUX is being referred to, is a legit token because it has been scrupulously designed to look like a real crypto website, until one reads the details. It even goes as far as giving the total count of ZBUX and how many of the supposed tokens are already in circulation.
The website states that there are one and half million (1,500,000) ZBUX tokens in total and almost a million (978,689) are in circulation. Funny enough, the website is actually receiving small amounts of ETH from individuals hoping to trade them for ZBUX.
Someone even added a definition of Zukbucks on Urban Dictionary, only six days ago, according to which Zukbucks is “a cryptocurrency used to scam people on Facebook, called “Libra” by the corporate overloads”. By looking at Twitter it seems that the crypto community seems to be having a ball at the hilarity with which the website is mocking the forthcoming cryptocurrency and Zuckerberg.
— CryptoWealthX (@cryptowealthx) June 23, 2019
So far neither Zuckerberg nor the platform has made any comments regarding the scam or Zuckbucks. It seems that the platform is just waiting for this to blow over without giving it more attention than it already has received.