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BEWARE: Scammers using Google Ads to steal cryptocurrencies

Scammers are using Google Ads to steal cryptocurrencies, which is a new type of crypto fraud that investors should be aware of. Over $500,000 in cryptocurrency was stolen in a matter of days just this past weekend.

According to a Check Point Research (CPR) report, scammers are placing ads at the top of Google Search that look like popular wallet brands like Phantom and MetaMask in order to trick users into giving up their wallet passcode and private key.

“In a matter of days, we witnessed the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crypto. We estimate that over $500k worth of cyrpto was stolen this past weekend alone,” Oded Vanunu, Head of Products Vulnerabilities Research at Check Point, said in a statement.

“I believe we’re at the advent of a new cyber crime trend, where scammers will use Google Search as a primary attack vector to reach crypto wallets, instead of traditionally phishing through email,” Vanunu warned.

Scammers enticed their victims by placing Google Ads at the top of Google Search that imitated popular wallets and platforms like Phantom App, MetaMask, and Pancake Swap.

Each advertisement included a malicious link that, when clicked, took the victim to a phishing website that mimicked the brand and messaging of the original wallet website.

From there, the scammers duped their victims into disclosing their wallet passwords, laying the groundwork for wallet theft.

Traditionally, phishing campaigns start with emails.

Multiple scamming groups are now bidding for wallet-related keywords on Google Ads, using Google Search as an attack vector to target victims’ crypto wallets, according to the report.

The crypto industry in India claims over 10 crore users and over Rs 6 lakh crore in investment, making it a major asset class.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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