Crypto Users Lose $580k in Scams Linked to Web3 Firms
In a recent coordinated phishing attack, cryptocurrency users have lost over $580,000, with popular Web3 companies being impersonated. The scams were primarily executed through emails that appeared to be from CoinTelegraph, Token Terminal, and Wallet Connect.
What are Phishing Scams
These scams involve sending emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate company or authority. The messages often contain links that lead to fake websites where victims are tricked into entering their private keys or other sensitive information, allowing the scammers to steal their cryptocurrency.
Phishing scams are among the most common attacks on consumers. According to the FBI, more than 300,000 people fell victim to phishing scams in 2022, collectively turning over $52 million to scammers.
The Scam Operation
The phishing emails, which seemed to originate from the official addresses of the aforementioned companies, tricked users into clicking on “airdrop claim” links. These links, however, led to wallet drainer sites. The emails contained offers of fake airdrops to lure victims, with different reasons given for the purported airdrops.
The root cause of the issue was identified as the hacking of email service provider Mailer Lite. A vulnerability allowed hackers unauthorized access to Mailer Lite’s system, after which they impersonated user accounts of popular crypto-linked companies.
Examples of Phishing Scams
In one instance, a victim received an email that appeared to be from Google Sheets, stating that their account was about to be closed. The email contained a link that led to a Bitcoin Mining website, where the victim was asked to provide personal information, an account number for transferring crypto assets, and a fee. The victim complied, resulting in a loss.
Scammers often use social media platforms to execute phishing scams. They create fraudulent posts promising Bitcoin giveaways. When someone clicks on the giveaway, they are taken to a fraudulent site asking for verification to receive the Bitcoin.
Imposters sometimes create fake cryptocurrency trading platforms or fake versions of official crypto websites. These fake websites usually have similar but slightly different domain names from the sites they’re impersonating. They look very similar to legitimate sites, making it difficult to tell the difference
Impact on the Crypto Market
The scams have had a significant impact on the crypto market, with XRP buyers fleeing the market as prices are set to drop below $0.5. The bearish pressure on XRP has been intense and is likely to take the prices south of the psychological support level of $0.5.
To avoid falling victim to such scams, users are advised to research online to find out whether a company has issued a coin or token. They should also be wary of promises of guaranteed returns, as no financial investment can guarantee future return and to only send a small amount of money the first time they transfer money to confirm the legitimacy of a crypto wallet app.
The recent phishing attack highlights the risks associated with the crypto market. As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to rise, so does the prevalence of scams. Users are advised to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect their investments.
Angel Marinov is the Managing Editor at Coinlabz. With extensive knowledge of crypto payments and blockchain use cases, Angel is a trusted source of accurate and timely information