The cryptocurrency domain is becoming increasingly susceptible to novel fraudulent activity known as zero-transfer phishing. This deceptive tactic has enabled malevolent actors to divert millions in digital assets from the clutches of unwitting individuals. A recent blockchain analytics firm Bitrace disclosure has shed light on the burgeoning scale. The devastation caused by zero-transfer phishing marks a significant uptick in the losses endured by market stakeholders. The report highlighted an alarming loss of over 451 million USDT on the Tron network due to these scams.
Emergence of Zero-Transfer Phishing
Zero-transfer phishing emerged as a sophisticated scamming stratagem that zeroes in on the transaction history of the victims without requiring access to their private keys. The modus operandi of the fraudsters is fairly straightforward yet cunning. They dispatch transactions of nil value to the user, which materializes in the user’s transaction history, paving the way for subsequent deceptive maneuvers.
Fraudsters meticulously craft addresses that resemble those the victim has previously interacted with. It retains identical sets of characters at the outset and conclusion of the address. This meticulous mimicry often bamboozles the victims into copying and instating the attacker’s address as the recipient for the transfer. Users unwittingly channel their assets into the scammer’s coffers.
Other Blockchain Networks in the Crosshairs
The scourge of zero-transfer phishing isn’t confined to the Tron network alone. Numerous instances of substantial losses across different blockchains have come to light. A case in point is a disheartening event last month. A Kraken wallet user was swindled out of 4.46 million USDT on the Ethereum blockchain. This infamous act transpired just a day following a significant phishing onslaught that forced crypto trading tool None to cease operations. The assailants made away with 41.52 ether (ETH) and 11,7000 NONE tokens, aggregating to $76,500.
The web of zero-transfer phishing has also ensnared well-versed crypto whales, leading to monumental financial setbacks. A notable instance involves a crypto whale parting with a staggering $24.23 million in liquid-staked Ethereum to phishing malefactors. This was possible despite boasting extensive on-chain acumen. This episode has been earmarked as one of the most recent crypto phishing debacles.
To curb the proliferation of such scams, USDT issuing entity Tether took a decisive step by freezing $20 million USDT. The funds were inadvertently directed to a phishing scammer in August. Intervention like this cannot become the norm, though. Users must be more vigilant and pay closer attention to where they transfer assets.
@cryptomodedotcom Why is no one actually doing anything about crypto scams in Australia?? Apart from my channel of course! 🇦🇺 #cryptoaus #ASIC #cryptoaustralia #cryptomode #CRYPTOANN #annmaree #annmareetv ♬ original sound – 🚀 Crypto Ann 🚀
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