The darknet community was rocked recently by the sudden exit scam pulled by Incognito Market, one of the most popular trading platforms. Incognito’s admins made off with an estimated $10+ million in Bitcoin and Monero stolen from user accounts and escrow.

As the dust settles, we at have been analyzing what went wrong and what lessons darknet market users can take away from this unfortunate incident.

The Anatomy of an Exit Scam

In hindsight, there were red flags leading up to Incognito’s abrupt disappearance:

  • Users reported issues withdrawing funds, while the market continued accepting new deposits
  • Support tickets about missing balances went unanswered
  • The market’s 2+ year age made it ripe for an exit scheme

As one user wisely noted, “Once you’re on any market that’s above 2 years existence, trade with caution to enable you cut-down on exit scheme losses.”

Interestingly, the scam’s timing coincided with a peak in Bitcoin’s price, suggesting the admins were waiting for the most profitable moment to strike. “They were definitely watching the BTC market with a magnifying glass,” observed another user. “Looks like they timed it just right.”

Lessons for Darknet Market Users

This harsh experience reinforces some key security practices:

  1. Never store coins in your market wallet. Withdraw to your own wallet ASAP after purchases.
  2. Diversify across multiple markets to mitigate risk.
  3. Use XMR when possible, as its price is more stable and less tempting for exit scams.
  4. Watch Bitcoin’s price as an indicator of potential exit schemes.
  5. Exercise caution with markets older than 2 years.

The Fallout and Future Landscape

With Incognito’s fall, many users are migrating to alternative markets like Nemesis or MGM Grand Market. But the darknet’s revolving door of markets opening and exit scamming is sure to continue.

The key is constant vigilance – using trusted forums to vet markets, verifying links at to avoid phishing, encrypting communications, and never letting your guard down. Starting with small purchases from established vendors is also prudent.

We’ll be closely monitoring the reverberations from Incognito’s exit scam and keeping Torhunter readers apprised of new developments in the ever-shifting darknet landscape. Be safe out there, and never forget the cardinal rule: “Don’t trust, verify.”

Sarah Cone

By Sarah Cone

Sarah Shadow is a skilled journalist and writer with a keen eye for detail. She has spent the last 5 years specializing in news about darknet markets and activity within the Tor network. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, Sarah is able to uncover even the most hidden secrets of the digital underground. Despite her serious profession, Sarah has a playful side and enjoys solving puzzles and brain teasers in her free time. Sarah's twitter: