Table of Contents
- DeFi is Once Again the Target of Scams
- Technological Developments Result in More Sophisticated Scams
Phishing scams promoted through Google Ads have claimed over $4 million from unwitting crypto users.
Blockchain analytics and data from Google Ads reveal that 3,039 unsuspecting cryptocurrency users have fallen victim to phishing websites promoted on Google, which resulted in over $4 million being stolen.
1/ ð¨ A recent surge in phishing scams via Google search ads has led to users losing approximately $4 million.— Scam Sniffer (@realScamSniffer) April 27, 2023
ScamSniffer has investigated multiple cases where users clicked on malicious ads and were directed to fraudulent websites.#PhishingScams #GoogleAds pic.twitter.com/vuKCgSuFnV
Data from Web3 anti-scam firm ScamSniffer, reveals that malicious advertisements for phishing websites have recently surged in Google Ads searches. Addresses, or URLs (uniform resource locators), take users to websites created by scammers that solicit login signature requests, granting scammers access to users’ wallet addresses.
2/ ðµï¸âï¸ Investigation into the keywords used by victims has uncovered numerous malicious ads at the forefront of search results.— Scam Sniffer (@realScamSniffer) April 27, 2023
Most users, unaware of the deceptive nature of search ads, click on the first available option, leading them to malicious websites. #Cybersecurity pic.twitter.com/kKtomcn3SB
Fraudsters make slight changes to websites’ official URLs, which trick users into clicking on malicious links.
DeFi is Once Again the Target of Scams
ScamSniffer says major DeFi projects, websites and brands have recently been targeted. Notably, scammers have focused on Lido, Zapper.fi, Stargate, DefiLlama, Orbiter Finance and Radiant.
An analysis of ScamSniffer’s metadata indicates that many phishing websites have been linked to scammers in Canada and Ukraine.
Fraudsters bypass Google’s ad review process using several different methods. This includes tricking Google Click ID, which enables scammers to display a legitimate website while Google conducts its review process of an advertisement.
Harmful advertisements proved to be a very profitable endeavour for scammers. ScamSniffer reveals that the average cost per click for related keywords ranges from $1 to $2. With a conversion rate of 40% from 7,500 consumers clicking on malicious ads, scammers have invested nearly $15,000 in advertising. A total of $4 million has been stolen thus far, translating into a return rate of 276%.
8/ ð Ad analysis platforms suggest that the average cost per click for these keywords is around $1-$2. Based on an estimated conversion rate of 40% and 7,500 users clicking on the ads, the advertising cost is approximately $15K.— Scam Sniffer (@realScamSniffer) April 27, 2023
Estimated ROI of about 276%. #ROI #PhishingScams pic.twitter.com/3pV3rP6tEm
Technological Developments Result in More Sophisticated Scams
While scams targeting cryptocurrency users are by no means a recent occurrence, technological advancements in the field of artificial intelligence mean that scams are becoming ever more sophisticated.
California regulators recently revealed that scammers are profiting from the AI hype by duping investors into investing in companies with AI-generated CEOs. The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) sent cease and desist letter to at least five firms claiming to make profits using AI-assisted trading techniques.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.