Hackers took over the official Twitter account of crypto exchange Gate.io, putting over 1 million users at risk of losing funds to an ongoing fraudulent Tether (USDT) giveaway.
Social media platform Twitter serves as the most effective medium to reach the crypto community. As a result, the trend of hacking into official Twitter handles of verified accounts to promote scams is on the rise.
Hackers of unknown origin took over Gate.io’s Twitter account and changed the website URL from Gate.io to gąte.com (https://xn--gte-ipa.com/) — a fraudulent website impersonating the exchange.
The fake website is actively promoting a fake giveaway of 500,000 USDT while asking users to connect their wallets (such as MetaMask) to claim the rewards. Once a user connects their wallet to the fake website, the hackers will gain access to their existing funds and end up draining the assets.
Blockchain investigator Peckshield also confirmed the ongoing attack as it detected the phishing website and alerted users about the risk of losing private keys.
#PeckShieldAlert #Phishing Seems like crypto-exchange Gate[.]io's verified Twitter account @gate_io was compromised & has been used to share links to fraudulent $USDT GIVEAWAY.— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) October 22, 2022
gąte[.]com is the phishing site.
Thanks @aayushrai11 and @grpolice for the intel pic.twitter.com/cpZ6CgAADm
Cointelegraph reached out to alert officials about the ongoing hack and is to hear from Gate.io about related remediation. In response, Gate.io confirmed with Cointelegraph that all users had been alerted about the compromise and released a post about the development, adding that:
“We were made aware as soon as it happened, we have put out a notice and the account was locked down soon after being compromised.”
Gate.io reassured investors by promising to provide full compensation for the losses suffered due to the incident.
At a time when crypto scams are set to hit all-time highs, investors are advised to cross-check the website URLs of the trading platforms to ensure the legitimacy of the offerings.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently warned that crypto ATMs are gaining popularity among scammers to receive funds from victims.
According to the FBI, wire transfers, prepaid cards and crypto ATMs are being used by scammers to avoid being tracked by law enforcement:
“Many victims report being directed to make wire transfers to overseas accounts or purchase large amounts of prepaid cards. The use of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency ATMs is also an emerging method of payment. Individual losses related to these schemes ranged from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.”
As victims agree to pay up, the scammers ask victims to pay taxes over the original amount, “causing them (investors) to lose additional funds.”