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Scams, Schemes and Hacks
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April 9, 2024

Phishing Scams Appear As Ads on Ethereum Block Explorer Etherscan: Report

By Conor Devitt

Phishing scams are bubbling up on the Ethereum (ETH) block explorer Etherscan, according to the cybersecurity firm Scam Sniffer.

The firm says Etherscan aggregates advertisements from crypto and web3 ad networks Coinzilla and Persona, which could be using “insufficient” filtering that enables exposure to phishing attempts.

Source: Scam Sniffer/X

Scam Sniffer has previously noted crypto phishing scams facilitated the theft of more than $295 million worth of assets in 2023. The cybersecurity company says phishing websites employ a genre of crypto malware known as “wallet drainers” that trick victims into greenlighting malicious transactions.

Roughly 324,000 crypto holders fell victim to wallet drainers last year, according to the firm. The largest one, Inferno Drainer, stole $81 million in nine months across 2023.

Scam Sniffer notes that these phishing websites direct traffic to their sites through multiple methods, including hacking official X and Discord pages, attacking official project frontends, airdropping tokens and taking over expired Discord links.

They also pay for search advertisements on Google and the social media platform X and utilize spam comments.


In a recent analysis, blockchain security firm SlowMist noted that phishing scams represent around 80% of comments on tweets from famous crypto projects.

The scammers employ a high level of automation, according to the security firm.

“Scammers can now purchase [X] accounts. We observed numerous groups on Telegram involved in selling [X] accounts. These accounts vary in terms of follower count, the number of posts, and registration dates, allowing buyers to choose according to their needs. Upon reviewing the group’s history, we found that most accounts sold are related to the cryptocurrency industry or are influencer accounts.”

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