Cryptocurrency losses have risen, with a sharp increase in exit scams, a strategy where founders abruptly disappear with their investors’ funds. In May alone, exit scams accounted for over $45 million in losses, surpassing the total sum stolen from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, according to recent data from a leading blockchain security firm.
A Sharp Increase in Rug Pull Scams
Known as “rug pull” or “exit scams,” these illicit acts led to a staggering financial drain in May, significantly outpacing the losses from DeFi projects. A comprehensive report published on June 1st by Beosin, a trusted name in blockchain security, revealed that losses from such scams reached an alarming $45 million, spread across six reported incidents.
In stark contrast, DeFi protocols, a regular target for cybercriminals, experienced ten attacks totaling $19.7 million, representing a nearly 80% decrease from the previous month. Remarkably, this decreasing loss trend from DeFi exploits has continued for two consecutive months.
The Largest Rug Pulls and Attacks on DeFi Protocols
May’s most significant rug pulls involved Fintoch, a crypto project accused of making off with $32 million on May 24. In the realm of DeFi protocols, the largest attack befell the Jimbos protocol, which suffered a $7.5 million loss.
In its report, Beosin noted, “The focus of hackers and scammers is gradually shifting from various project parties to ordinary users,” highlighting the ever-increasing risk for individual investors in the crypto sphere.
In response to these worrying trends, Beosin called on crypto users to enhance their anti-fraud awareness, engage in rigorous due diligence before investing in any project, and educate themselves on the best practices for protecting their crypto assets.
The firm also cautioned against using shared or public charging devices for mobile phones. It highlights the potential risk of manipulating these devices to inject malicious programs that could compromise private keys.
Warnings from Federal Agencies
This warning echoes a similar one issued by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in April, urging individuals to steer clear of free charging stations like those found at airports.
The FBI’s Denver office tweeted on April 6, “Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices.” So the agency instead recommended carrying a personal charger and USB cord for use in an electrical outlet.
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