Blockchain.com, Luno, and Cardano are the top-most phished crypto projects
Even with the crypto market experiencing a crash, crypto scams are still going strong. Phishing scams, in particular, are favored among cybercriminals.
According to the data analyzed by the Atlas VPN team, cryptocurrency financial service company Blockchain.com is the most commonly phished crypto brand, with 662 phishing websites in the last 90 days. Blockchain.com is followed by crypto investing app Luno and proof-of-stake blockchain platform Cardano with 277 and 191 phishing pages, respectively.
The data is based on the information provided by the CheckPhish URL scanner tool by Bolster. The data features detected cryptocurrency phishing website numbers in the last 90 days till June 22nd, 2022.
The next top-most phished crypto brand is Poloniex. The US crypto exchange has had 72 phishing websites using its brand in the past three months.
Meanwhile, NFT marketplace Magic Eden and yet another US-based crypto exchange, Bittrex, share the fifth and the sixth spots on the list with 67 and 65 phishing websites each.
Next up is Binance. The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume is the seventh most phished crypto brand. In the last three months, its name was used on 59 phishing websites.
Binance is followed by Apex Crypto. The crypto investing service has had its brand utilized in 23 phishing websites in the last 90 days.
The rest of the brands in the top ten include open-source cryptocurrency wallet software MyEtherWallet (21), Bitcoin wallet service Electrum (16), Australian cryptocurrency assets exchange BTC Markets (16), Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer (9), and peer-to-peer crypto marketplace Paxful (9).
Other crypto brands used in phishing campaigns include a platform for institutional crypto investors Bakkt (6) and Singapore-based crypto exchange Bybit (1).
Victims lost $329 million in crypto to scams in Q1 2022
Not only are cybercriminals using crypto to cash in, but they are successful at it. According to the FTC, scammers have lured out $329 million worth of cryptocurrencies in the first quarter of this year alone.
Since 2021, victims have lost over $1 billion in cryptocurrencies to scams. In total, $93 million was lost to business imposter scams in particular.
Moreover, $575 million were lost to investment-related fraud, $185 million due to romance scams, while $40 million worth of crypto was lost to government imposters.
The fact that cryptocurrency payments are irreversible, uncontrolled by central authorities, and many newcomers are not very knowledgeable in how crypto works is why they are so convenient and popular with scammers.
How to recognize phishing scam websites
Cryptocurrency, e-commerce or gaming — no matter the category, all phishing websites usually have something in common. Here are a few tips on recognizing and protecting yourself from phishing websites.
- Check the website's address. Fraudsters like to use alphabets with similar-looking letters to the authentic website letters hoping you won't notice. Always inspect the URL first before proceeding with the website. You can also use URL checkers to see if the website has been flagged previously.
- Look for spelling and grammar mistakes. One of the tell-tale signs of phishing websites is spelling and grammar errors. Scammers rarely use professional writers to check their website’s content for errors. If you find many mistakes across the website, inspect its legitimacy before further interacting with its content.
- Check if the website has an SSL certificate. Make sure a website has a green padlock symbol before the web address, and the portal address starts with HTTPS, not HTTP. This means the website has an SSL certificate, and the connection is encrypted.
Use Atlas VPN SafeBrowse. Enable the SafeBrowse feature whenever you are online. It will help block malicious websites when you are browsing the web, making you less likely to come across a phishing website.