Phishing scams are increasingly becoming a pain in the arse in the crypto space. Cybercriminals are stepping up their game with one objective: to drain crypto wallets of thousands — if not millions — worth of cryptocurrencies.
According to various crypto news agencies on Thursday, citing a self-proclaimed crypto investigator on social media going by the moniker ZackXBT, the famed scammer “Monkey Drainer” stole about 700 ETH, or roughly $1 million, in the past 24 hours.
Wallets ending in 0x02a and 0x626 were two of the biggest victims of this deception, losing more than $370,000 between them.
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Specifically, 0x626 has lost around $220,000 worth of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether, and popular sport NFTs.
Big Loot From Phishing Scam
According to reports, the other victim lost 1 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection, 1 CloneX, 36,000 USDC, and a dozen additional NFTs valued at a total of approximately $150,000.
In the previous few weeks, Monkey Drainer has successfully conned a considerable number of people. The sleuth revealed that the total amount siphoned off in the theft exceeded $3.5 million and is still growing.
Until now, the bogus entity has been operational for a few months, during which the con artists have carried out more than 7,300 operations.
1/ Over the past 24 hrs ~700 ETH ($1m) has been stolen by the phishing scammer known as Monkey Drainer.
They recently surpassed 7300 transactions from their drainer wallet after being around for only a few months. pic.twitter.com/6vAYBiqCxQ
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) October 25, 2022
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, phishing is a sort of online scam that targets consumers by sending them an e-mail that looks to originate from a reputable organization, such as an internet service provider (ISP), a finance institution, or even tax payment agencies..
The email solicits the recipient’s personal information. The information is then used to open new accounts or to get access to the consumer’s current accounts, the FTC said.
Cybercriminals Busy This Year
The crypto industry has endured a difficult year in 2022, but it hasn’t stopped hackers from engaging in nefarious activities.
The social media platforms Discord, Telegram, and Twitter have become a major stalking field for crypto con artists.
ZachXBT has become a well-respected independent blockchain inspector over the past few years, shedding light on a great deal of illicit activity in the crypto sector.
ZachXBT has become a well-respected independent blockchain inspector over the past few years, shedding light on a great deal of illicit activity in the crypto sector. blockchain analysis company CertiK detected nearly 300 phishing attacks, a 170% increase from the first quarter’s total of 106.
Monkey Drainer Still At Large
Christophe Durand, deputy chief of France’s national cyber unit, praised ZachXBT’s assistance in identifying the phishing scams of five individuals suspected of stealing $2.5 million worth of NFTs earlier this month.
Meanwhile, after the news broke, the Monkey Drainer team utilized automated bots to flood and spam the comment threads of nearly all crypto-related tweets.
While there are already numerous campaigns that aim to educate people about phishing activities, perpetrators still manage to do their dirty work, leaving investors to deal with severe losses, if not empty handed.
As of this writing, it is currently unclear whether the spammer has access to more wallets, thus future malicious transactions may potentially emerge on the network.
Crypto total market cap at $954 billion on the daily chart | Featured image from Intersys, Chart: TradingView.com