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Google Ads Unwittingly Promotes Phishing Crypto Site, Leading to Significant User Losses

Google has come under scrutiny for inadvertently promoting a malicious cryptocurrency website through its Google Ads service.

This website, masquerading as the legitimate Whales Market—a platform known for facilitating the trade of airdropped tokens—leads users to a phishing clone that can drain their cryptocurrency holdings.

BleepingComputer first reported on this issue, revealing that cybercriminals are advertising a counterfeit version of Whales Market.

This fake site appears at the top of Google search results as a sponsored link.

While it presents a credible domain address in the search results, it redirects users to a fraudulent site, [] instead of the genuine [].

According to Cointelegraph’s findings, Google currently displays this bogus Whales Market as an advertisement.

This deceptive strategy involves not only the use of a similar domain name but also replicating the user interface of the real Whales Market site.

Unsuspecting users are tricked into connecting their digital wallets, at which point malicious scripts are activated, leading to the theft of cryptocurrency.

The issue extends beyond a single instance. BleepingComputer notes that the perpetrators have created several look-alike domains, including [], which has since been deactivated.

This method of exploiting Google’s advertising platform is not new.

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Scammers have previously used Google Ads to direct victims to fake cryptocurrency services, causing significant financial losses.

For example, nearly $900,000 was stolen from a wallet owned by billionaire Mark Cuban after he fell victim to such a scam.

The broader impact of these scams is highlighted by the “MS Drainer” service, which was advertised through Google Ads and used to steal around $59 million in crypto over nine months.

This service targeted users of popular crypto sites like Zapper, Lido, and others, showcasing fake versions of these platforms.

Google’s response to these fraudulent activities includes legal action. In April, the tech giant filed a lawsuit against

Yunfeng Sun and Hongnam Cheung, two Chinese nationals accused of running counterfeit cryptocurrency investments via the Google Play store.

The problem of wallet drainers continues to plague the Web3 ecosystem, with significant amounts being stolen.

Notably, the developer of the “Inferno” drainer claimed to have retired after stealing over $80 million.

Similarly, the creator of “Monkey Drainer,” which had extracted around $13 million, announced retirement in March.

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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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