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Fraudsters “took advantage of confusion” over Ethereum merger to steal $1 million

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Users’ lack of understanding and comprehension of the Ethereum merger provided the perfect scenario for fraudsters to exploit to attack them.

According to Chainalysis, these cybercriminals were able to steal more than $1.2 million worth of ether (ETH) from their victims before, during, and after the event, which took place more than a month ago.

In its most recent publication The company specializing in blockchain analysis and security pointed out in a post on its blog that the “Merge scam,” as it called it, had a “success rate” of more than 80 percent. during the day of the mergerSeptember 15, and 100 percent of days before and after the event.

The scam worked because the scammers “took advantage of the confusion surrounding the Ethereum merger” to “rob unsuspecting users,” according to Chainalysis. It is also pointed out that on the day of the merger The scammers managed to take away just over $905,000 in ether.the cryptocurrency of Ethereum.

How did the scams work? According to Chainalysis, most of them were based on the classic model of “confidence trade” scam. In this type of fraud, the scammer invites the victim to send a certain amount of money in order to receive up to twice the amount invested in return. To do this, the perpetrators pose as celebrities or influencers.

In the specific case of Merge scams, scammers have gone so far as to warn their victims that. they had to send ETH to a particular wallet to “switch” to the “new Ethereum blockchain” and receive funds in return.

Amount of money lost in scams during the Merger.
On September 15, the day of the merger, scams related to the event were quite successful. Source: Chain of analysis.

As reported by CryptoNews, a day before the merger, Sept. 14, scammers posed as the co-creator of Ethereum.Vitalik Buterin, to attack their victims. On the networks, criminals offered gifts of up to 100,000 ETH on behalf of the Ethereum Foundation.

Scams against rich countries

According to Chainalysis, the success of hackers has made this type of fraud the dominant scam in the Ethereum ecosystem. But it was short-lived, because it “dissipated as quickly as it appeared.”as the signature suggests.

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Chainalysis has determined that Merge’s scams. were more successful than the more common onesdirectly targeting users in countries with above-average gross domestic product (GDP).

In other words, “it is possible that the scammers deliberately targeted users in wealthier countries under the assumption that they would be more likely to invest in the scam.”

In detail, the scammers targeted their attacks at countries such as. Panama, Chile, Spain, Australia, Finland, Portugaland many others, according to the analysis company.

Countries with the highest fraud rates during the merger
These are the countries where the highest number of Merge-related fraud activities have been detected by Chainalysis. Source: Chainalysis.

Education is necessary

According to Chainalysis, major technological events such as the Merge can become a kind of “blessing” for fraudsters, as users’ confusion and lack of knowledge “can be exploited by bad actors.”

This is why they are calling for representatives of the cryptocurrencies there is more training for usersso that they are aware of the types of scams that exist and how to avoid them.

“Scamming remains and will likely remain the largest form of cryptocurrency-based crime, which is exceptionally detrimental to adoption because of the way it leverages user trust,” Chainalysis warned.

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