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Crypto Phishing Scams Skyrocket: Base Platform Hit by 18-Fold Increase in Stolen Funds Amid Memecoin Craze

In a stark demonstration of the escalating threat posed by phishing scams within the cryptocurrency sector, recent data has revealed a significant uptick in stolen funds on the Ethereum layer 2 solution, Base.

According to Scam Sniffer, a blockchain anti-scam platform, there was an alarming 18-fold increase in losses due to phishing in March compared to January.

The figures are staggering, with approximately $3.35 million reported stolen in March alone.

This marks a 334% surge from February, which saw losses of $773,900, and a shocking 1,880% increase from January’s $169,000, as per Dune Analytics data compiled by Scam Sniffer.

The issue isn’t isolated to Base; Binance’s BNB Smart Chain also experienced a surge in phishing scams during the same period, highlighting a broader vulnerability in the crypto ecosystem to such types of fraud.

The overall impact across all chains was profound, with $71.5 million lost to phishing scams from 77,529 victims, eclipsing the losses recorded in January and February, which stood at $58.3 million and $46.8 million, respectively.

Scam Sniffer identifies phishing links from fraudulent social media accounts as a predominant method of scamming, with over 1,500 incidents detected in March.

These scams are increasingly prevalent despite a notable decline in crypto hack thefts, which fell 48% to $187.2 million in March, as reported by blockchain security firm PeckShield.

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Notably, of the total losses, $98.8 million was recovered, largely thanks to efforts surrounding the $97 million Munchibles exploit, with prominent cryptocurrency sleuth ZachXBT playing a key role in the recovery efforts.

The surge in phishing activities coincides with a memecoin craze on Base, significantly boosting its total value locked to over $3.2 billion, a 370% increase in 2024, according to L2Beat.

This growth occurs even as significant losses have been reported from smart contract exploits, including a $40 million loss from Curio’s MakerDAO-based contract and an $11.6 million hack of Prisma Finance, with ongoing negotiations for the return of the stolen funds.

This landscape underscores the complex challenges and risks present in the rapidly evolving crypto market.

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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.

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