Researchers from Sophos discovered a Bitcoin wallet containing tokens worth $1.4 million (approximately Rs. 10 crores) that had been obtained through scams. The crypto con artists preyed on iPhone users using popular dating applications like Bumble and Tinder. According to Sophos, in addition to stealing people’s bitcoin, the hackers exposed their victims’ personal information to cyber threats. Sophos has given the threat posed by these criminals the codename “CryptoRom.”
“Once an attacker has made contact with a victim, the attackers recommend that they continue the conversation on a messaging platform. They then try to persuade the target to download and invest in a bogus bitcoin trading software,” said Jagdeesh Chandraiah, Sophos’ senior threat researcher.
According to the study, these unidentified crypto-scammers have been targeting Asians and are now spreading their operations to Europe and the United States.
The attackers also gained control of victims’ iPhone models, according to Sophos, by accessing their profiles on bogus crypto-trading apps. These dangerous and unverified programs were disseminated on the Internet using spoof websites that appeared to be bank websites.
“From news reports, we learned one victim lost $87,000 (roughly Rs. 65 crores). There are additional news reports in UK of these scams, with one victim losing $45,000 (roughly Rs. 33.8 lakhs) to a scammer who contacted them through Facebook, and another who lost $25,000 (roughly Rs. 18.2 lakhs) after being scammed by someone who contacted through Grindr,” according to the Sophos report.
In order to facilitate secure crypto transactions, researchers have advised crypto investors to exclusively use verified exchange and trading sites available on the Apple Store.
Research published in April estimated that total crypto criminality in 2020 will be over $10.52 billion (roughly Rs. 79,194 crores).
Scams and frauds, which have plagued the crypto-space, are a huge problem, accounting for 67.8% of total bitcoin crime in 2020, according to the same analysis.
According to a recent analysis by analyst firm Chainalysis, at least $815 million (approximately Rs. 6,135 crores) in crypto was paid to fraud projects in Eastern European countries between July 2020 and June 2021.