August 13, 2022

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Warning to crypto fans: Phishing schemes are not just for email any more.

In a new scam, criminals are manipulating online advertising to target cryptocurrency users searching for digital currency “wallet” apps MetaMask and Phantom, according to cyber security firm Check Point Research. Fraudsters bid on keywords on Google ads, luring cryptocurrency enthusiasts to counterfeit versions of the Web sites, according to the Check Point investigation.

The effectiveness of the scam and the challenges of proving fraud occurred reveal some of the downsides of anonymized digital savings accessible to anyone who has the right code.

The Google ads phishing scam likely resulted in the theft of at least $500,000 worth of cryptocurrency in November, according to Check Point. The scale of fraud is often difficult to calculate because not everyone affected reports such incidents.

Representatives from MetaMask, Phantom and Google didn’t respond to requests for comment.

How the Scam Works

Holders of cryptocurrencies must have access to the long string of…

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