Scam warning: Circle phishing campaign promises fake USDC DeFi swap
The scam attempts to capitalize on USDC's post-depeg recovery.
A phishing campaign falsely promising access to a new USDC DeFi trading platform emerged on social media on March 16.
Fake USDC trading platform emerges
The false blog post promoting the swap platform is located at http-circle-dot-blog, while the false trading platform is located at http-circledefi-dot-center.
The fraudulent platform supposedly allows users to trade Circle’s USDC stablecoin for Tether’s competing USDT stablecoin and touts a supposed partnership with TRON DAO. Its interface appears to be based on the legitimate DeFi platform Raydium.
It is unclear how much money has been sent to the fraudulent service.
Reddit primarily spread the phishing site. Though it did not reach /r/cryptocurrency, it was shared on /r/USDC and approximately 20 other subreddits.
Interestingly, the scammer initially attempted to gain traction on /r/Buttcoin, where they attracted numerous comments. The scammer may have hoped that the subreddit’s skepticism toward crypto would lead commenters to overlook the specifics of the fraud.
A Circle spokesperson confirmed to CryptoSlate that the above websites are fraudulent but declined to say what action it would take. The company has also pinned a recent tweet suggesting that users be “vigilant for scammers and fraudsters with fake accounts.”
Circle’s USDC stablecoin remains strong
Circle’s official blog, located at www.circle.com/blog, was last updated on March 15 and made no mention of the DeFi product in its latest update.
The scam seems to be an attempt to capitalize on USDC’s recovery following its loss of parity with the U.S. dollar. USDC depegged following the closure of Silicon Valley Bank, and its price fell as low as $0.88 on March 11 before returning to $1.00 on March 13.
During that recovery, Circle worked to strengthen USDC by stating that it was clearing backlogs and forming new banking arrangements.
Those positive developments were alluded to in the fake announcements, which attempted to portray the DeFi Swap as one of Circle’s attempts to strengthen its product.