PSA: Coinbase Referral Spam Exploits Bitcoin URLs
Be careful not to misspell the domain of your favourite exchange or crypto information site – the chances are that it’ll redirect you to Coinbase Registration Page. No – set your tinfoil hats down, Coinbase isn’t trying to syphon traffic away from their competitors. This is a shady independent actor trying to cash in on their referral program. We have the complete list of his owned domains and details below
Read also: Bitfinex De-Lists 27 Altcoins
Referral Spam Exploits Typos, Crypto Newcomers
Imagine you’re new to crypto, and you’re looking for information. A friend links you to coinmarketcaps.com, or mistakenly types botfinex.com, or one of countless other typos to get you started on an exchange. You land on the registration dialogue for Coinbase, register, start looking at the charts, and think nothing of it. The problem is – instead of going to the resource that you originally intended, you end up at coin base, and the moment you buy coins on Coinbase or GDAX, the person running these domains gets paid for tricking you into registering there. This isn’t a new concept in scummy marketing – it’s called referral spam, and someone is doing it in spades for Coinbase referral cash.
Sure, it isn’t ransomware or phishing, but this referral spam tactic is misleading crypto newcomers and frustrating users of affected sites, and it shouldn’t be tolerated just because it isn’t outside the law. Luckily, a simple WHOIS reveals the email linked to these domains is owned by one “Duane Seamans.” This email is linked to no less than 54 active domains, most of which are tactical misspellings of blockchain.info, cryptomarketcap.com, and a slew of other Crypto exchanges and resources.
Luckily, there’s a way to correct this. It’s not likely Coinbase takes kindly to referral spam, and they have an active support email. If enough people let them know, the spammer will get their privileges revoked. The Referral URL being redirected to is https://www.coinbase.com/signup?r=52cda457fd78a4da0d0000d0, and the URLs are posted above for your convenience if you are so inclined. (don’t register at Coinbase until clearing your cookies after going there, unless you want to perpetuate this problem.)
Hate referral spam and malvertising? Let us know in the comments!
Image courtesy Redirect Detective