ver a million users of the cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io were at risk of losing money due to an ongoing scam involving a Tether giveaway after hackers took control of the company's official Twitter account.
The most efficient way to connect with the cryptocurrency community is through the social media site Twitter. As a result, the habit of using verified accounts' official Twitter names to promote scams is becoming more popular.
Unknown hackers took control of Gate.io's Twitter account and changed the URL of the website from Gate.io to gte.com (https://xn--gte-ipa.com/) — a fake website pretending to be an exchange.
The fake website actively advertises a fictitious giveaway of 500,000 USDT and requests that visitors connect their wallets (like MetaMask) in order to get the rewards. The moment a person links their wallet to malicious websites, the hackers have access to their existing funds and can start draining their assets.
Peckshield, a blockchain researcher, validated the attack while it was happening by identifying the phishing website and warning users about the possibility of losing private keys.
Cointelegraph contacted authorities to inform them of the ongoing hack and to request information from Gate.io regarding necessary corrective action. Gate.io responded by confirming with Cointelegraph that all users had been informed of the hack and then published a post about it. They added:
“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.”
Investors are encouraged to double-check the website URLs of the trading platforms to guarantee the integrity of the offerings at a time when cryptocurrency frauds are predicted to reach all-time highs.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States recently issued a warning that scammers are increasingly using cryptocurrency ATMs to collect money from victims.
According to the FBI, con artists utilize wire transfers, prepaid cards, and crypto ATMs to evade 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 soon as the victims agree to pay up, the con artists demand that they pay more taxes, "leading them (investors) to lose additional funds."