Perpetrated by the operators of a website called mybtgwallet.com, the scheme prompted users to submit their private keys or recovery seeds as a means to generate bitcoin gold wallets, as seen on an Internet Archive snapshot. Shortly after users did so, however, the cryptocurrency holdings in their wallets were sent to different addresses.
At least $30,000 in ethereum, $72,000 in litecoin, $107,000 in bitcoin gold and more than $3 million in bitcoin were confiscated, according to self-reported numbers verified by CoinDesk.
In an interview, victims blamed the association of the website with the official bitcoin gold project as a source of the effectiveness of the operation.
One of the victims, Mikel Martin, explained to CoinDesk:
“I reached this site by following the link at [the] bitcoingold.org official website so I trusted it. Yesterday afternoon I noticed both my BTC and BTG stored in that wallet were gone.”