Crypto whale loses over $24M staked Ethereum to phishing, as ‘verified’ X scams surge
Web3 security firm Kaspersky said crypto-related phishing scams have grown by 40% this year.
On-chain data shows a crypto whale “0x13e382” lost $24.23 million worth of liquid staked Ethereum, including 4,851 rETH (worth $8.58 million) and 9,579 stETH ($15.63 million), to phishing scammers on Sept. 6.
Web3 security firm Scam Sniffer revealed that the whale had unwittingly given token approval to the scammers by signing “increaseAllowance” transactions. The firm described the theft as probably “the largest amount ever stolen from a single victim.”
The stolen funds initially landed in two addresses, namely 0x693b72 and 0x4c10a4. However, the scammers have relocated some of these assets to Fixed Float exchange, while the remainder resides in three other distinct addresses.
Notably, Scam Sniffer observed that one of the addresses connected to this fraudulent activity, specifically 0x4c10a4, is associated with numerous cryptocurrency phishing websites and has maintained activity since May 21.
Although the victim’s identity remains undisclosed, their transaction history indicates a seasoned liquidity provider with substantial on-chain experience. This wallet has operated since 2017 and currently facilitates over $1.6 million in WBTC/USDT liquidity on the Uniswap V3 platform.
Phishing scams rampant on X
The rise of phishing scams on X, formerly Twitter, has become a growing concern for the crypto community, which has been inundated with several verified paid bots using the social media platform to perpetrate their activities.
On-chain investigator ZachXBT specifically expressed concerns about this issue, drawing the crypto community’s attention to the proliferation of fake verified organizations on the platform.
“Verified orgs were intended to make it harder for scammers, but it has just created a new black market for accounts with no way for us to report and take down these accounts easily,” he said.
This underscores the persistent threat of phishing scams in cryptocurrency, even amid a bear market. According to cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky, crypto-related phishing scams have increased by 40% year-on-year.