Scammers published a false press release about the collaboration between Litecoin and Walmart and inflated the prices of the coin by a third.
On September 13, the GlobenewsWire website, which publishes official press releases, announced the partnership of one of the largest US retailers Walmart with the non-profit organization Litecoin Foundation, standing behind Litecoin. The press release quoted Walmart CEO Doug McMillon promising to implement LTC payments.
“The momentum and excitement around the use of cryptocurrency are undeniable, and we are poised to make online shopping easy for our customers. As a leading eCommerce store, we are committed to bringing innovations to the online shopping experience. By integrating Litecoin, we will enable shoppers to experience a very smooth checkout experience with near instant transaction confirmation, and near-zero fees regardless of where in the world they are. We’re very excited to be working together with the Litecoin Foundation, and further innovate our business. Starting October 1st, all eCommerce stores will have implemented a ‘Pay with Litecoin Option,'” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO.
The news immediately spread across social networks and forums, and in less than an hour, the LTC rate soared from $175 to $235. The re-post of the press release even appeared on the official Litecoin Foundation Twitter account.
But more attentive users noticed that the press release was published using the walmart-corp.com domain, which was registered last month and had not previously been used to publish official press releases of Walmart.
Walmart soon denied this information, and the creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, apologized to subscribers, explaining that the Litecoin Foundation reposted the press release, as the employee in charge of SMM was himself surprised by the news of such a collaboration.
GlobeNewswire removed the fake press release minutes after CNN contacted them for comment. A spokesperson for Intrado, the parent company of GlobeNewswire, said in an email that a fraudulent user account had been created to issue a false release. The company will strengthen authentication measures and promises to conduct a full investigation into the incident.
Almost immediately, the LTC rate returned to $180. But judging by the volume of LTC trading, which exceeded $8 billion in a day, with the usual level at $2 billion, the scammers had a chance to make money on this jump.