Crypto Scams, Exploits Alarmingly Stole $103 Million from Investors in April 2023: Report
Cyber hackers and scammers, fishing for victims from the crypto sector, have upped their game and are now bagging bigger rewards by the day for their illegal activities. A new report from blockchain research firm CertiK estimates that a whopping amount of $103 million (roughly Rs. 840 crore) was stolen in crypto exploits in April 2023. Notorious actors have been targeting the crypto community because one scam could earn them thousands of dollars from investors. Besides, crypto transactions are largely anonymous that makes the traceability of stolen funds close to impossible.
The two most common types of crypto scams that extracted the most funds, as per CertiK, are — exit scams and flash loans.
In exit scams, convincing-looking businesses keep accepting payments for whatever product or service they are selling, while abandoning already accepted orders or requests. Often categorised as a ‘confidence trick’, exit scams were used to steal $9.3 million (roughly Rs. 75 crore) from the crypto sector in April 2023.
Flash loans, however, brought more to the scammers and hackers in these instances of cyber loot.
As per CertiK’s analysis, crypto criminals stole $19.8 million (roughly Rs. 160 crore) by offering limitless borrowing of uncollaterised loans. This way, lenders who need immediate loans borrows and returns the funds in the same transaction, draining the victims’ accounts.
The exploit of multiple trading bots on April 3 resulted in the loss of $25.4 million (roughly Rs. 210 crore). Later, $22 million (roughly Rs. 180 crore) were lost in the Bitrue hot wallet exploit, followed by the theft of $13 million (roughly Rs. 105 crore) on South Korea’s GDAC exchange.
In the last four months of 2023, CertiK estimates $429.7 million (roughly Rs. 3,510 crore) were stolen by crypto scammers and hackers.
Some users of the KuCoin exchange have collectively lost over $22,000 (roughly Rs. 20 lakh) after the Twitter account of the crypto exchange was briefly hacked on April 24.
Criminal activities from crypto scammers also picked up pace in India. Back in March, crypto hackers promoted a fake airdrop event of the Ripple (XRP) stablecoin in India, after they hacked the Twitter account of News24. These posts also showed malicious links to unsuspecting victims to click on and expose themselves to financial risks.