Sophos cybersecurity researchers identified a Bitcoin wallet filled with tokens worth $1.4 million (roughly Rs. 10 crores) that were collected through scams. The crypto scammers were targeting iPhone users on popular dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder. Along with ripping off people's cryptocurrency, the hackers were also compromising the personal details of their victims to cyber risks, Sophos claimed. The threat triggered by these scammers has been code-named “CryptoRom” by Sophos.
“Once they've made contact with a target, the attackers suggest continuing the conversation on a messaging platform. They then try to persuade the target to install and invest in a fake cryptocurrency trading app,” said Jagdeesh Chandraiah, senior threat researcher, Sophos.
As per the report, these un-identified crypto-scammers have been targeting people in Asia and are now expanding their activities in Europe as well as the US.
According to Sophos, the attackers also managed to take control of victims' iPhone models by accessing their profiles on fake crypto-trading apps. These unverified and malicious apps were distributed on the Web via fake websites that looked familiar to bank sites.
“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,” the Sophos report said, highlighting the vulnerability of crypto investors.
Researchers have warned crypto investors to only use verified exchange and trading sites available on the Apple Store in order to facilitate secure crypto transactions.
Earlier in April, a report had revealed that the total crypto crime in 2020 has amounted to around $10.52 billion (roughly Rs. 79,194 crores).
The same report had also highlighted that scams and frauds that have plagued the crypto-space are a major problem that made for 67.8 percent of the total cryptocurrency crime in 2020.
Analyst firm Chainalysis in a recent report had revealed that at least $815 million (roughly Rs. 6,135 crores) was sent in crypto to scam projects from Eastern European countries between July 2020 and June 2021.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.