You must have heard about people around you making millions and millions of rupees (or even dollars) from Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, but today I am going to tell you about a Pakistani who lost millions of rupees in just a few seconds.
“Millions of rupees were lost and I couldn’t do anything about it”, I was told by the dismayed person who wants to remain unnamed.
Keep reading to know how he lost the money and how you can stay safe while dealing with coin transfers.
The worst thing about cryptocurrencies is that any transaction — for example if you are sending bitcoins to someone — is irreversible. There is no way of undoing a transaction.
In case if you are not familiar, you need a wallet address to transfer digital coins to receiving users. And it is always advised to double check the wallet address when you transfer coins.
User who intends to receive coins gives the senders a wallet address, which may look like this: 16KaVY37AcZaqJRBQzAhs3vgBiihyBkCSc
Users usually copy and paste this wallet address to send coins.
This address has to be exactly the same while sending coins. A small change can actually send coins to different receiver and the entire process is irreversible.
Here’s How Millions Were Lost
Like with any other tech, hacks and viruses are inevitable particularly when it comes to a game of billions like cryptocurrency. This particular virus that impacted our friend simply changes the wallet address when you copy an address and paste it for sending coins.
So imagine if you copy a wallet address from a Skype window (assume its address A) but when you paste it in your account to send coins, it’s different from the one you copied (assume the pasted address is B), resulting in the fund transfer going into the hacker’s account.
The virus simply changes the address in the clipboard and when you paste the string, it’s not the one you had copied.
And since all wallet addresses are random characters, they are usually hard to recognize.
How to Avoid It?
As a common practice, digital currency users just check if there are any spaces at the end or start of the address before pressing the send button.
But in actuality, one must check at least the first and last five characters to make sure that the address is the intended one or not.
So instead of trusting Windows’ copy/paste feature, always check whether or not the wallet address is exactly the one that was sent to you.