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By Jack Morse
The dark-web marketplace Wallstreet Market has for some time now been an online place to buy drugs, stolen data sets, and other illicit goods and services with cryptocurrency. Now, with the market supposedly down “for maintenance,” users are crying exit scam and accusing those who ran the site of making off with their funds.
A visit to the site, accessible via the Tor browser, provides worried vendors and past customers with a claim that it will return April 25.
“We irregularly do maintenance, to provide a flawless and comfortable platform for our users (buyers as well as vendors) at any time,” reads a notice plastered across the site’s front page. “To make this possible, we need to work on our servers instantly from time to time. The maintenance is usually done pretty fast.”
The Wallstreet Market forum is also listed as “temporarily down for maintenance.”
Users of Wallstreet Market aren’t buying it. A thread on Deep Dot Web, a site that “gathers information and educates the public on everything related to the dark net,” is filled with comments claiming to be from ripped off Wallstreet Market customers and vendors.
“FOR FUCKS SAKE, STOLE £60 WORTH OF BITCOIN FROM ME,” reads one such comment. “I WAS WONDERING WHY THE BITCOIN ADDRESS CHANGED 1 MINUTE AFTER I DEPOSITED MY BITCOIN, AND THE ORDER SAID ‘STILL NOT PAID’. FUCK YOU WSM!!!!!”
The thread is full of similar comments. “Do not use … EXIT SCAM i’m a vendor and havent got my money,” reads another.
ZDNet reports that the operators of Wallstreet Market are in possession of approximately $14.2 million worth of users’ funds.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it should. In early July, 2017, then popular dark-web market AlphaBay went offline and customers accused its anonymous operators of stealing their cryptocurrency held in escrow. The truth of the matter, that law enforcement had seized the site and was running a sting operation, was actually much worse (worse for site vendors and customers, that is).
And now similar claims are being made about Wallstreet Market. Oh, and for good measure, there are reports of a Wallstreet Market staff member blackmailing customers. So that’s fun.
Of course, at this point it’s almost impossible to know for certain what’s really going on behind the scenes. However, whether it’s truly maintenance, an exit scam, or police running a sting, we do know one thing for sure: a large group of dark-web market customers and vendors appear to be currently in the process of getting screwed.