A fish hook on computer keyboard

Digital asset phishing scams shot up 40% in 2022: report

Digital asset phishing attempts shot up 40% in 2022, a new report by cybersecurity company Kaspersky reveals.

Kaspersky detected over 5 million digital asset phishing attempts last year, up from 3.6 million the year prior. The company believes the steep rise can be partially attributed to “the havoc that occurred on the crypto market last year.”

Kaspersky noted that the data correlates with its study earlier this year in which it found that one in seven digital asset investors was affected by digital asset phishing.

“Despite some problems that have occurred in the cryptocurrency market over the past six months, in the minds of many people, crypto still remains a symbol of getting rich quick with minimal effort. Therefore, the flow of scammers parasitizing in this field does not dry out,” commented Kaspersky security expert Olga Svistunova.

“In order to lure victims into their networks, these scammers continue to come up with new and more interesting stories.”

The report further revealed that scammers continue to invent new tactics to lure their targets. In February, scammers sent PDF files by mail to their victims, telling them that the cloud mining platform they (the targets) set up years ago was thriving. To unlock the mined assets, the targets are required to pay a commission or surrender some critical financial information.

Phishing has affected hundreds of digital asset firms this year. Two weeks ago, the Ethereum wallet MetaMask warned users about a fake airdrop used by scammers to target their users.

Last month, investors lost $300,000 in a fake airdrop for the NFT platform Blur’s tokens. The scammers created over two dozen websites to target unsuspecting investors who missed last year’s legitimate Blur airdrops.

Amid the hike in phishing attacks, regulators are stepping up their game to protect investors. In South Korea, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) recently laid out a plan to stem voice phishing attacks linked to digital assets.

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