Phishing Scams: The Hidden Threat to Crypto Users in 2023

If you are a crypto user, you might have heard of phishing scams. These are malicious websites that impersonate legitimate platforms or services and trick users into entering their private keys, passwords, or other sensitive information. Once the scammers get access to the users’ wallets, they drain them of their digital assets.

Phishing scams are not new, but they have become more prevalent and sophisticated in 2023. According to a report by Scam Sniffer, a leading anti-phishing platform, over 324,000 crypto users fell victim to phishing scams in 2023, losing approximately $295 million in digital assets.

The report also reveals some alarming trends and insights about the phishing landscape in 2023. Here are some of the key findings:

– There were several wallet drainers that were active in 2023, each with their own modus operandi and target audience. Some of the most notorious ones were Inferno Drainer, Ms Drainer, Angel Drainer, Monkey Drainer, Venom Drainer, Pink Drainer, and Pussy Drainer. These drainers collectively stole over $239 million from more than 273,000 victims.

– Phishing activities showed no signs of slowing down throughout 2023. In fact, they increased by 37% compared to 2022. The report attributes this to the growing popularity and adoption of crypto assets and NFTs, as well as the lack of awareness and security among users.

– Phishing gangs were resilient and adaptable to changing circumstances. Even when some of the drainers shut down or got exposed, the phishing gangs quickly found alternative platforms or methods to continue their operations. For example, Monkey Drainer, one of the oldest and most successful drainers, closed its business on March 2, 2023. However, before closing down, it recommended another scam service to its criminal clientele. Scam Sniffer estimates that Monkey Drainer stole around $16 million in digital assets from more than 18,000 victims since August 2022.

– Phishing sites employed various tactics to generate traffic and lure unsuspecting users. Some of the most common ones were hacking official Discord and X accounts and spreading phishing links through posts; conducting fake airdrops of crypto assets or NFTs and asking users to verify their wallets; taking over expired Discord links and redirecting users to phishing sites; leaving spam comments and mentions on X with phishing links; and creating fake social media profiles and impersonating influencers or celebrities.

– Phishing websites also managed to bypass advertising guidelines on Google and X. The report found that some of the phishing websites were able to publish paid Google Search and Twitter ads that appeared legitimate and trustworthy. These ads often used keywords related to crypto or NFTs and promised users free rewards or opportunities.

The report concludes by warning crypto users to be vigilant and cautious when dealing with online platforms or services related to crypto or NFTs. It also advises users to use anti-phishing tools like Scam Sniffer to detect and avoid phishing sites.

Phishing scams are a hidden threat that can cost you your hard-earned digital assets. Don’t let them fool you. Stay safe and secure online.