By CCN.com: Just one month after a coordinated global law enforcement operation executed a sweeping takedown of dark web drug dealers, rumors are swirling that a popular dark-net market has allegedly attempted a major exit scam.
According to a thread on the Dread Forum, a Reddit-like website for dark web users, Wall Street Market (WSM) has likely exit scammed, absconding with as much as $30 million of users’ cryptocurrency stored in the platform’s escrow account.
Additionally, WSM administrators are warning users about the scam, cautioning the public to stop depositing funds on the website. Worse, they are alleging that the marketplace’s official community manager and moderator, “Med3I1n”, has been attempting to blackmail customers.
WSM vendor VanillaSurf received the following ominous message in their dispute dialogue box:
The Med3I1n account has since been banned from the Dread Forum for “rule violations.”
Users began to suspect that something was amiss two days ago. That’s when the WSM moderator nebula announced that the marketplace was experiencing technical difficulties due to the crash of its “bitcoin server.” Nebula posted the following message:
“If you do not know, in the last days, as described by the administrators, we’re experiencing problems due to a server crash that caused our bitcoin server to be out of sync with the blockchain. These problem result in loss of the control over the wallets for this server until is completely resynchronized.”
Users Being Blackmailed?
There are also reports of support staff blackmailing customers who sent their shipping address in plaintext via order tickets and disputes.
WSM vendor “Californias finest” told deepdotweb.com that the marketplace’s support department has been threatening to leak their contact information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Europol if they don’t pay a cryptocurrency ransom.
Californiasfinest said: “The support department is sending messages with all of my orders that include plain text on their bitcoin address, asking for them. They are blackmailing users now to pay or they will be included in the list which will be leaked to the FBI and Europol. They further warned that this is not a burned packstation or a burning drop, emphasizing that the investigations will go deep once the whole marketplace is crawled and saved, adding that if a user pays and includes the id of the order on the dispute message, they will be removed off the list leaked to law enforcement.”
WSM’s alleged exit scam comes on the heels of Operation SaboTor, a coordinated dark web takedown that resulted in 61 arrests, the closure of 50 dark-net accounts, and the seizure of $7 million dollars. At the same time, these rumors follow the announced closure of Dream Market, one of the longest running illegal marketplaces on the dark web.
Following Dream Market’s shutdown announcement, there is speculation that many Dream Market “refugees” migrated to the WSM platform, causing an influx of new cryptocurrency escrow deposits.
Thus, law enforcement’s disruption of the cyber-underworld economy, redirected a high volume of cryptocurrency deposits to WSM, creating optimal conditions for an exit scam.
While it’s still too early to tell if WSM users have, in fact, been defrauded by the platform’s operators, chatter on the marketplace’s Dread Forum page seems to indicate that an exit scam has likely occurred.
On Dread Forum’s /d/WallStreetMarket page, a warning can be seen in bold red letters: WSM HAS EXIT SCAMMED!