Cryptocurrency scammers stole $10M in 2017, Kaspersky reports
Criminals have stolen nearly $10 million since 2017 by using cryptocurrency phishing schemes and other scams, according to a report by Kaspersky Lab. Scammers often create fake web pages that simulate official initial coin offering projects in order to trick investors into sending cryptocurrency.
Criminals recently exploited the Switcheo and OmaseGo ICOs by distributing fake links, stealing more than $1 million in cryptocurrency. They have also used fake cryptocurrency giveaway scams that promise victims a large crypto payout in exchange for small amounts of cryptocurrency.
"Cybercriminals are adept at keeping up to date and developing their resources to achieve the best possible results in cryptocurrency phishing," Nadezhda Demidova, lead web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab, said in the release. "These new fraud schemes are based on simple social engineering methods, but stand out from common phishing attacks because they help criminals make millions of dollars. The success criminals have enjoyed suggests that they know how to exploit the human factor, which has always been one of the weakest links in cybersecurity, to capitalize on user behaviors."
Kaspersky Lab recommends that people use blockchain browsers such as etherscan.io or blockchain.info to check any wallet and determine whether is potentially dangerous. Users should also check official sources for free distribution of cryptocurrency, and to double-check hyperlink addresses.