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Navigating crypto deceptions: Understanding the fake “payback LTD” impersonation scam


Cryptocurrencies open doors to exciting possibilities, but they come with their share of cautions you should be aware of. At Xapo Bank, our dedicated fraud team is always vigilant, working tirelessly to shield you from risks. However, true safety is a joint effort. Dive into our monthly Navigating Crypto Deceptions series, where we shed light on scam risks and break down their complexities. Together with your awareness and our expertise, we can ensure you a confident journey through the crypto world. 

In this edition of our series, we turn our attention to an impersonation scam that is gaining popularity. Fraudsters are posing as representatives of Payback LTD, Funds-Back LTD or Money Back, exploiting trust to achieve their objectives. We'll outline their modus operandi and provide recommendations for heightened vigilance.

Who are these companies?

Payback LTD, Funds-Back LTD and Money Back are organisations dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering funds they've lost to scams. Their commitment to their clients is evident, and some even issued warnings on their website about impostors pretending to represent them. 

It's crucial to note that, as far as we are aware, these companies do not request clients to send them money via cryptocurrency.

The Deceptive Tactic Unveiled

Scammers, impersonating these companies’ representatives, reach out to potential victims with a promise: to help retrieve funds that had been lost years ago in a scam. Many times these impostors may know information about the victims, such as the amount of money lost in past scams.

After gaining their trust, the scammers guide these individuals to deposit fiat (regular currency like dollars, euros, or pounds) into their bank accounts and then, under the guise of the recovery process, instruct them to promptly withdraw these funds in Bitcoin to a specific address controlled by the scammer.

The scammer might suggest that the victim creates an account in another cryptocurrency exchange which allows multiple owners for a single account, such as Atomic Wallet. Sometimes this account has already been set up by the scammers beforehand, and they are just giving the victim access to this wallet that is actually theirs. 

Some victims, in a bid to get assistance to set up the bank account and the crypto exchange account, are coaxed into downloading remote software like AnyDesk. This sly move provides scammers with direct access to the victim's device, which is one more way of making sure the funds are transferred to the scammer’s chosen location.

A few patterns have emerged from our investigations. Many of the targeted individuals are either elderly or self-admittedly not tech-savvy. The BTC addresses provided by these fraudsters often start with the number "1", an older, widely compatible format. Furthermore, there's a recurring sequence of actions: 

  1. Rapid fiat funding of the victim’s newly created account.
  2. Followed by an immediate BTC withdrawal.

The impersonators often use full names to present themselves and formal language in emails to enhance the perceived authenticity of their claims. Many victims believe they are sending to a wallet that is owned by them and only realise they do not have access to it after the transaction has been completed.

Strengthening Our Defenses

Our dedicated fraud team remains on high alert, proactively identifying and countering deceptive tactics. 

Our account managers are available around the clock with 24/7 support. If something feels off or you have questions about a transaction, they're here to assist. We encourage our members to reach out directly to their account managers whenever they feel something might be suspicious.

How to Stay One Step Ahead

Awareness is your first line of defence. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Verify Before Trusting: Always double-check and verify any unsolicited offers or communications, especially those promising fund recovery.
  • Remote Access Caution: Be wary of requests to download remote desktop software like AnyDesk. This could give scammers direct control over your device.
  • Check the E-mail: Scammers might use e-mails that include the name Payback LTD. but are not official. For example: [email protected] is known to be an UNOFFICIAL EMAIL.

What you should do if you suspect you have been scammed

If you suspect you've fallen victim to a scam:

  • Immediate Action: Reach out to us at [email protected] or via in-app chat. Quick action can make a difference.
  • Stay Informed: The more you know about these tactics, the better equipped you'll be to spot them in the future.
  • Beware of Follow-up Scams: If someone claims they can recover your lost funds for a fee, be sceptical. It's likely another deception.

Remember, at Xapo Bank, we're committed to ensuring the safety of your savings. Together, we can navigate the crypto landscape securely.


This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice or a recommendation of any kind whatsoever and should not be relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the content of this article (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content), or any content of any other material referred to or accessed by hyperlinks through this article. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

Eligible fiat deposits are protected by the Gibraltar Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to a maximum of the US Dollar equivalent of EUR 100,000 (subject to prevailing exchange rates on the compensation date).

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