The rumors are out that the darknet marketplace called televend has pulled an exit scam on users. Multiple vendors on the market are claiming that they have been locked out of their vendor panels and that their Bitcoin deposit addresses for customer orders have been tampered with and switched to other random addresses. This is what has the darknet community wondering if the site has been compromised by law enforcement and whether it is safe to continue using the site or not.
Televend was a popular alternative to other drug marketplaces on the dark web, a part of the internet that is invisible to search engines and accessed through Tor. It appealed to buyers who did not have the technical knowledge needed to navigate sites like Tor or PGP, and it also offered a more user-friendly interface that made it easier for them to place orders and get products delivered.
Despite its convenience, the site was still plagued by many of the same OPSEC weaknesses that darknet markets are often subject to. For example, the site did not offer Tor or PGP-based escrow services, and it also allowed sellers to publish their real name on their seller profiles. This combination of user ignorance and market dynamics made the site particularly risky for both buyers and sellers from a legal standpoint.
While most users believe that law enforcement may have shut down the site, others suspect that the guys behind the website simply packed up and left for good — much like how a convenience store owner would shut his shop down, take all the cash with him, and never open it again. However, this seems unlikely since the site’s backlog of messages reveals that there are still plenty of buyers searching for a new trusted vendor on the platform.