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Fake crypto wallet scam: what is this increasingly popular Google scam?

Fake crypto wallet scam: what is this increasingly popular Google scam?

The popularity of cryptocurrencies has not escaped scammers. An entirely new fraud has been discovered through advertisements passing through Google.

The firm specialized in cyber security Check Point Research warns “against criminals using fake Google ads to steal crypto wallets.” During the weekend of October 30 to 31, more than $ 500,000 (approximately 432,000 euros) in cryptocurrencies were stolen from Internet users deceived by this scam.

Specifically, “criminals place ads at the top of Google search. Ads that mimic popular wallet brands such as Phantom and MetaMask (which are themselves legal). The idea is that users access fake sites inspired by real sites to log in and use their wallet passwords and private key, using malicious links ”.

In the way of identity fraud classic in fake emails that encourage internet users to share their usernames and passwords, cybercriminals will use private keys to enter and bypass wallets in cryptomonnaies.

The advent of a new trend

“I think we are at the dawn of a new trend in cybercrime, where criminals will use Google search as the main attack vector to reach crypto wallets, rather than traditionally phishing their victims via email.” , says Oded Vanunu, Product Vulnerability Research Manager at Check Point Research in a blog note Posted Nov 4.

He continued: “In our observation, each ad had a carefully chosen message and a selection of keywords to stand out in search results. The phishing websites targeted at victims reflected a meticulous copy and imitation of the wallet brand messages. Most alarmingly, various groups of scammers are bidding on keywords in Google Ads, which is probably a sign of the success of these new phishing campaigns designed to steal crypto wallets. Unfortunately, I hope this becomes a fast growing trend in cybercrime. “

This cybersecurity expert advises crypto wallet owners “to check the URLs they click on and avoid clicking on Google ads related to crypto wallets at this time.” If you plan to go to the most famous official portfolio sites, please favor the direct URL of the site in question by entering it manually in the address bar and be careful not to go through an indirect link.