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Phishing scam sees $4.5M in USDT sent to scammer

The scam was far more elaborate than simply clicking the wrong link. USDT approval mining scams require months, or even years of deception.

Another day, another phishing scam: today, a crypto investor fell victim to a scam that resulted in losses in excess of $4,000,000 in USDT. 

Anti-scam platform Scam Sniffer reported the victim withdrew $4.46 million from Kraken into a fake Coinone crypto-mining exchange on September 21. 

Blockchain security firm PeckShield also alerted users of the scam several hours later, providing the wallet addresses in question.

Scam Sniffer pointed to a Dune Analytics board that details the wider phenomenon of USDT approval mining.

The scam is far more elaborate than simply clicking a wrong link. 

According to Dune, scams such as this require a level of deception that goes on for “months, or even years“. 

The scam starts with a stranger sending a seemingly harmless message to someone to start a conversation. The scammer then befriends them, shows off their flashy lifestyle and eventually explains that they got rich through crypto. 

Over time, the scammer builds up a trustworthy relationship with the victim so that they “willfully, intently, happily choose to go to the fraudulent website and approve the interactions and send the transactions”. 

“These scammers are onboarding more people to crypto than any legitimate crypto organization. All in order to steal their money,” wrote Dune board user Tayvano

To date, $337,176,597 USDT has been stolen in such scams, spread across 49,433 total transactions.

Source: Dune Analytics

The crypto space has seen an influx in phishing scams throughout 2022. 

On September 7, a crypto whale lost a massive $24 million in staked Ether derivatives in what may be the largest amount stolen from a single victim. The victim reportedly gave the scammer token approvals by signing “increaseAllowance” transactions. 

Over a week later, DeFi investor and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban lost nearly $1M in a phishing scam by interacting with a malicious version of MetaMask.

Read more:  Mark Cuban loses nearly $1M in phishing scam

Disclaimer: CryptoPlug does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Do conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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