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Scam suspected as dark web marketplace AlphaBay shuts down

Users are worried the site may have experienced a major heist with a suspicious transaction worth $3.8million

AlphaBay, a darknet market site selling drugs, firearms and other illegal shit, has suddenly disappeared from the web. Users are getting increasingly concerned that a huge scam has taken place involving millions in bitcoin. 

The site, hosted on the Tor Network, went offline early on Tuesday (July 4), and there’s been no word from its staff on the dedicated subreddit as to why. According to Cryptocoins News, several users of the site came across a large bitcoin withdrawal (1,479.03904709 bitcoin, which is about $3.8million), distributed among different addresses. These kind of transactions tend to be anonymous, and thus really difficult to trace.

While some users have expressed worry that there’s been a massive heist, others are staying patient, detailing how things could just be down for maintenance. The large bitcoin payment, as some on social media have detailed, may not even have come from AlphaBay. Site users have also confirmed that money they had deposited into their wallets on site was unspent. 

Exit scams like this have happened before though, so it isn’t out of the question that the site, dubbed the new Silk Road, could be experiencing a major incident. Back in 2015, Evolution – another darknet marketplace – shut down, and $12 million was lifted from users.

Last month, a big-time millionaire vendor on AlphaBay from Portland, Oregon was busted by Homeland Security. He was found to have conducted 1,684 drug sales and made more than $1million.

If you frequent the dark web, now might be the time to remain a bit more vigilant: when sites like AlphaBay go down, phishers become more active. A Reddit thread is telling peple to save their links to markets after verifying them and to not use random links posted on Reddit or elsewhere.