The owner tries to sell COVID domain name in exchange for Bitcoin; US authorities seize the platform.
According to the recent reports, the U.S Department of Justice has received a warrant against the owner of a COVID domain name called coronaprevention.org alleging that the person attempted to sell the domain name in exchange for Bitcoin on a hackers forum.
The seller positioned the domain name as a platform to sell demand products with a high markup. In response to the warrant, The United States Attorney’s Office has seized the domain name. This move comes after Attorney General William Barr requested the department to closely monitor fraudulent and illicit activities related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Johnson, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations included an affidavit in the warrant mentioning that an HSI agent helped the owner of the domain into the forum.
Moreover, the alleged HSI agent was actually pretending to be selling fake COVID-19 testing kits on the platform, which the owner of the site deemed as a genius. However, he acknowledged “they wanted to do that but I couldn’t get enough cash to bulk buy them from Alibaba.”
The agent further made a partial payment on 20th April against the domain for which the owner initially requested $500 worth BTC.
Jhonson also suggested that the owner of the domain is probably involved in “laundering monetary instruments as well as aiding and abetting the laundering of monetary instruments.”
As of now, coronaprevention.org has been taken down and redirected to the Justice Department’s seizure notice.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started creating havoc across the world, vendors on dark web marketplaces have been selling fraudulent items related to the COVID-19. Items like hand sanitizers, fake vaccines, face masks, toilet papers, etc. are being sold at exorbitant prices on the darknet.