TOP 2 Darknet marketplace was suspected of being a scam. Is it surprising?

Allegedly, the Incognito Market service, a darknet platform for the sale of prohibited substances, allegedly committed an exit scam with the theft of “millions” of BTC and XMR, causing damage to its customers. It would seem that what to expect from a darknet representative, but they often fight for their clients and try to meet “quality standards,” so to speak.

According to Incognito Market users, they encountered problems with the withdrawal of bitcoins and monero on Tuesday, March 5 and suggested that this could be an exit scam on the part of the site.
Exit Scam is a fraudulent scheme when a company or project suddenly closes and its operators disappear, leaving with the money of users or investors. This often happens in the field of cryptocurrency and financial projects, especially on darknet markets and platforms where users can trade drugs, weapons and other illegal goods.
According to a cyber threat report from the Dark Web Informer, Incognito Market, mainly known as a platform for trading illegal substances, is estimated to be worth between $10 million and $30 million.

According to the weekly Dark Web Informer rating, at the beginning of March the site was in second place with a valuation of $10-30 million.

Dark Web Informer rating of ransomware viruses (left) and darknet marketplaces (right).

Dark Web Informer analysts were among the first to announce a possible scam:
Users of the darknet site also drew attention to a possible problem:

Screenshot of Dread forum user warning about scam. Source: Dark Web Informe

The administrator of Incognito Market with the nickname pharoah said that the problems that arose were related to changes in the withdrawal systems of the Incognito platform: “Please note that the initial stages of this update may briefly impact usability in the first few days as the servers perform multiple tasks both when syncing old data and new requests.”
However, reports from users about problems with withdrawal of funds continued, and they were followed by a post from the administrator of the darknet site Dread, which confirmed the cases of “exit scams”. In his post under the name Hugbunt3r, he stated that he had a discussion with an administrator under the name "Pharaoh", where he was ultimately offered a "bribe" to remove any posts on the Dread forum related to Incognito Market.

He also recommended that users refrain from depositing funds into the marketplace:
“My warning will not affect funds already lost to Incognito, but hopefully it will now be enough to try to ensure that users stay away and don't lose more.”
The exit scam allegedly occurred during a boom in the price of Bitcoin, when the cryptocurrency reached its previous record high of $68,990, setting a new peak just above $69,200. The higher the price, the higher the amount of stolen funds.
Some statistics
In late February 2024, a report from our colleagues at Chainalysis on crypto crime found that darknet marketplaces earned more than $1.7 billion in 2023, a significant increase from 2022, when the world's largest darknet marketplace, Hydra, was shut down.

While no darknet marketplace has been able to completely replace Hydra since then, the report found that smaller marketplaces are thriving, serving specific market segments and deepening their specializations. Mega Darknet Market leads the way in cryptocurrencies raised, with a total of more than $500 billion.
AML Crypto opinion
We at AML Crypto, categorically urge our readers, users and partners not to use the services of darknet sites! In addition to the obvious harm of the goods sold there, you may encounter a number of problems, including loss of funds or criminal proceedings.

This incident with the exit scam of this darknet marketplace is not an exception at all, but further confirmation of the danger of such projects. You may be wondering how to check a crypto wallet for fraud or how to check a crypto address for risk, but the term darknet itself should tell you to stay away without additional checks.

We also remind you that you can perform an AML verification of a crypto address in a few clicks in our solution Btrace - the first AML verification is free for each new user. And if you do become a victim of crypto fraud or scam, then contact our specialists for blockchain investigation and return of stolen funds.
Check blockchain address using Btrace
In seconds, determine the risk level of the counterparty’s address, find out the source of his funds and make an informed decision about interacting with him.




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