Crypto Phishing Scams In 2023: Ethereum Tops The List With Losses Of Over $74 Million

  • New data has revealed cryptocurrency users lost a huge $74,487,764 through phishing scams last year, as it was the sixth most prevalent exploit.
  • The findings follow an analysis of the REKT Database, identifying the most common scams, cumulative losses, and the most affected blockchains.
  • Of the $74.4 million lost due to phishing, the majority (91%) affected Ethereum users, as the blockchain lost more than $68.5 million in 2023.
  • An expert identifies the warning signs that indicate a crypto phishing scam, warning users to be wary of ‘too good to be’ true returns on investment.
Crypto Phishing Scams In 2023: Ethereum Tops The List With Losses Of Over $74 Million

A new analysis has found cryptocurrency users who were hit by phishing scams last year lost a whopping $74.4 million, with Ethereum named the most vulnerable blockchain.

According to a new analysis of the REKT Database from Smart Betting Guide, cryptocurrency users lost more than $1.7 billion ($1,759,850,729) due to exploits and exit scams last year, with phishing proving one of the most prevalent issues.

The analysis reveals the scams with the largest losses – also accounting for returned funds – and the most targeted blockchains, with phishing scams resulting in $74,487,764 lost.

Speaking on the findings, Zigmas Pekarskas, CEO of Smart Betting Guide, said:

As cryptocurrency continues to grow in popularity among investors, so does the appeal to scammers – especially among volatile blockchains or vulnerable users. However, there are some telltale signs to look out for that may indicate you’re being targeted.

The most obvious sign is if someone is typing to gain access to your private information, like security codes or login details. Do not share your personal information unless you are 100% sure the request is safe – especially if you’ve been randomly contacted over text or email. Also, be wary of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ returns, discounts, or tokens. If you know a cryptocurrency is particularly volatile, exercise caution before accepting investment support.

Ensure that you are aware of how cryptocurrencies and blockchains work so that you can identify any discrepancies that may allude to ulterior motives. Make sure you only trade via reputable exchanges and always use a secure eWallet to hold funds.”

Unveiling the cryptocurrency phishing landscape

Cybercriminals employ various tactics in cryptocurrency phishing scams, targeting users’ eWallets through fake websites, counterfeit tokens, fraudulent emails, and enticing them to share private details or keys. Unfortunately, victims reporting losses due to phishing rarely recover their funds.

Ethereum stands out as the most vulnerable blockchain, recording $65.5 million in losses out of the total $74.4 million lost to phishing scams in 2023. Other affected blockchains include Arbitrum ($5.2 million lost) and Bitcoin ($768,000 lost).

March emerges as the riskiest month for cryptocurrency users, witnessing the highest average losses to phishing scams. In addition to phishing, access control exploits and rug pull exit scams also plagued the crypto landscape in 2023. Access control exploits resulted in $851.8 million in losses, with Ethereum being the most affected ($482.7 million).

On the other hand, Binance topped the vulnerability list for rug pull exit scams, causing users to report losses of $74.5 million last year.

Blockchain vulnerabilities and crypto losses: A comprehensive analysis

Cybersecurity experts, in addition to highlighting the scam types causing the most significant losses, have unveiled the blockchains most prone to cybercrime. Ethereum emerged as the primary target in 2023, witnessing a staggering $729,979,524 in losses, surpassing the average loss across all blockchains by 273% ($195,538,970). Bitcoin followed closely, with $265,791,155 lost, primarily due to access control attacks and phishing scams. Polygon ranked as the third most targeted blockchain, experiencing losses totaling $124,218,285.

Alarming as it is, the analysis also paints a grim picture for crypto users who fall victim to these scams. A mere 10% of the total funds lost in 2023 ($1,961,967,015) were successfully recovered. This data underscores the formidable challenges users face in reclaiming stolen crypto assets, adding an additional layer of concern to the growing issue of blockchain vulnerabilities and cyber threats.