Reddit detectives bust Venezuela Bitcoin donation fraud

Reddit detectives have done it again.

A fake charity which requested donations for Venezuelans during hardship has been busted using a fake image as proof that children had supposedly received food shipments exchanged for BTC.

Redditors immediately noticed the poor quality of the image and raised suspicions about its authenticity.

One user noticed that the address where the donations were received led to a known gambling website. But the original poster replied that this was how they exchanged cryptos for Venezuelan currency within the country where this kind of activity was heavily regulated.

Reverse Image Trick

Others were a bit more persistent in questioning the original poster, who eventually stopped replying to the thread.

One particular user noticed that the image had been flipped horizontally, which is an old trick used to avoid reverse image searches.

Flipped images are often used in fake social media profiles, using real users’ photos without authorization, while flipping or mirroring the image so that the reverse search does not return any matches.

Most social media Artificial Intelligence software is unable to automatically detect this trick (it’d take massive additional processing to reverse every image in both dimensions), which makes it popular among trolls, scammers and other fake users of social media.

Source Found

By reversing the image once more, the real image was found. It’s from a campaign by Cuatro Por Venezuela, a non-profit organization working in the country.

Cuatro Por Venezuela NPO Original Photo

Sadly, the children seen on this image were not helped by the marvels of Bitcoin technology.

Hopefully this will not stop other legitimate operations from receiving funds in Venezuela and other countries where cryptocurrencies can help break barriers and feed people in need.

This Report on the Media

Bitcoin scam asking for donations to feed starving children exposed by Reddit sleuths

Reddit mention

Brazilian report mention

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