$3M of crypto stolen on Christmas Day — MS Drainer scammers fleece victims

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Scammers have stolen $3 million worth of cryptocurrencies in 24 hours as they continue to use Google Ads to advertise malicious fake websites that use wallet draining software.

As reported by Cointelegraph on Dec. 21, scammers used MS Drainer to steal $59 million worth of cryptocurrency in 2023. According to Scam Sniffer, the attackers used Google Ads to trick crypto users into accessing fake versions of Web3 websites, including Zapper, Lido, Stargate, DefiLlama, Orbiter Finance and Radient.

The security firm flagged fresh incidents from phishing sites associated with the same attackers’ addresses in their scam database on Dec. 25.

Scam Sniffer confirmed to Cointelegraph that around $3 million was lost to phishing scams on Christmas Day. A mixture of WBTC, aPolUSDT, aUSDC and USDT was stolen in separate incidents according to screenshots shared by the company.

A spokesperson from the company said that Google Ads security was informed of the ongoing promotion of fake sites and the use of wallet-draining software in April 2023. However, Scam Sniffer has not yet heard back from the platform.

Related: Exploits, hacks and scams stole almost $1B in 2023: Report

The latest phishing thefts act as a reminder for cryptocurrency users to double-check the authenticity of websites and transactions that are being authorized by their Web3 wallets.

“Phishing scams are the top threat to the user now. To avoid them, as the user, the only thing we can do is verify each signature request carefully,” Scam Sniffer’s spokesperson said.

Scam Sniffer found 10,072 fake sites that used MS Drainer through 2023 in its recent report on using the wallet drainer. The software has been used to steal $58.98 million worth of crypto from over 63,000 victims, according to a Dune Analytics dashboard set up to track it.

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