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Address Poisoning Scams: How to Avoid Scam Transactions with Your Altered Address

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PUREVPNOnline SecurityAddress Poisoning Scams: How to Avoid Scam Transactions with Your Altered Address

Imagine a digital world where even your account’s transaction history is at risk of manipulation. Introducing Address Poisoning Scam, a hidden crypto cyber threat that expertly alters your data destinations, transacting your money to the bad guys. In this digital jungle, your coordinates lead you to danger instead of safety.

In this blog, we will reveal how Address Poisoning Scam works, common dangers to watch out for, and essential pointers to protect yourself from these deceitful schemes.

antidote

What is an Address Poisoning Scam?

Address Poisoning Scam is a type of cryptocurrency scam where ill-intentioned actors poison your account’s transaction history by sending a very small, nearly zero amount of crypto [USDT, TRX, or MATIC] and wait for you to select their address for the next transaction. 

Are you thinking, why would you choose the scammer’s address to send money? The address that the scammer sends the funds is very similar to yours, with only a few characters changed. 

How Address Poisoning Scam Works?

In this type of scam, attackers take advantage of long and difficult-to-remember cryptocurrency addresses. If you’re in a rush, you may accidentally paste the scammer’s address to transfer your funds without checking your full address. It’s better to stay alert and know how address poisoning scam works so that you can prevent it.

Are You the Next Victim of an Address Poisoning Scam?

The worst part of this scam is that you do not merely notify if you are scammed. It works in the shadows without letting you know you are poisoned. So it’s better to know whether you are their next victim. 

  1. New to cryptocurrency

If you are new to cryptocurrency and are not familiar with the risks involved in sending and receiving cryptocurrency, then there are chances that you are the next victim of an address poisoning scam.

  1. Active Users in cryptocurrency forums

Scammers often target users who are active in cryptocurrency forums or chat groups because they know that these people are interested in cryptocurrency. If you are active in cryptocurrency groups, they may send phishing emails or create fake websites that look like legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges to target you.

How will they attack you? 

If you are thinking, how will you know you are targeted? Here’s how they attack you:

  1. Scammers will send a small amount of cryptocurrency to your wallet address

The first and the last characters of their address are similar to yours, with a few changes in the middle.  

address generator

You may wonder how they generate the exact few characters of your address. Scammers use vanity address generators to create addresses similar to yours.

Next, they use a dummy account and transact a small amount with an address similar to yours.

amount transfer

The small transaction will be added to your transaction history.

transaction
  1. Scammers use social engineering techniques to target victims of address poisoning scams

For example, they may pose as a customer service representative from a cryptocurrency exchange and ask you to provide your wallet address. Once you provide your wallet address, the scammer can send you a small amount of cryptocurrency to the address. 

What happens next?

After entering your account’s history, scammers wait for you to use their poisoned address for the next transaction. Your funds are sent to the scammer’s address instead of the intended recipient. 

The problem is once you use their account, you cannot revert it. Until you discover you are scammed, you may have sent a larger amount of cryptocurrency to the same address, thinking that it is the address of the customer service representative. 

transfer details

Reddit

Risk for Address Poisoning Scams

If you detect the fake transaction address before transferring crypto, the Address Poisoning Scam is harmless. However, if you receive a transaction from a poisoned address, then watch out for these red flags:

Fake Phishing Emails

Once your account is poisoned, the scammers can send you NFTs with links to phishing malware. 

Dust Attack to Reveal Your Identity

Address poisoning starts similar to dust attacks but with different motives. Scammers can carry out a dust attack to blackmail you into revealing your identity, using your data for their use, or installing malware in your computer, affecting other users.

How to Protect Yourself from Address Poisoning Scams

Analyze your crypto wallet address transactions 

Every time you transact funds to another account, double-check your account address. It is the easiest way to prevent Address Poisoning Scams.

Avoid Copying your Crypto Wallet Address 

The best way to prevent an Address Poisoning scam is to avoid copying your crypto wallet address from the transaction history. It needs to be avoided from both ends, the sender and receiver. Otherwise, even if you prevent an Address Poisoning scam, your receiver may get infected by it.

Hash Your Cryptocurrency Address

 Re-checking your crypto address will be hard if you are in a hurry, so to avoid errors, you can hash your account address and compare it to one copied from the transaction history.

Simulate Cryptocurrency Transactions

If you are more experienced in crypto dealings, you can conduct transaction simulations to check whether your funds are sent to the correct recipient. You can use different testnet networks like Ethereum testnet for smooth transactions.

Use Hardware Wallets for Transactions

Before you complete your transaction, Hardware Wallets allow you to confirm the address. However, it is still possible to fall for this scam even with a hardware wallet, but this helps develop the habit of checking your address, preventing you from being scammed.

Are You Scammed by Address Spoofing? 

Suppose you become a victim of an address poisoning scam and send attackers money. How can you escape this situation? The key to stopping this attack from further harming you is to take the following precautions, as mentioned in this article.

Reach for Customer Support from Your Crypto Wallet Provider

Crypto wallet providers like  Metamask, Ledger, and Trezor already warn about address poisoning scams. They urge you to contact Customer Support immediately if you notice any suspicious transaction.

Keep Your Security up to Date

To avoid getting scammed, you should enhance your system security, especially if you use it for earning. Consider enabling two-factor authentication or using a more secure browser.

Learn from Your Experience

Even if you got scammed, you cannot revert your transactions in the Address Poisoning scam. But you can learn from it to take precautions before you get scammed, learn about common scams, and how to prevent them. It helps you to protect yourself and the money you earn.

Why Are You Targeted for Scamming?

Are you curious why you are targeted for scamming? It’s simple: someone monitored your account and online activities, which you shouldn’t have.

But don’t blame yourself. Everything you do online, whether posting on social media or signing up for another email newsletter, leaves behind a digital trail. To prevent it, you can take security measures to prevent Internet strangers from breaching your property.

How to Be Scam-Proof?

Protect yourself from scammers using security solutions like VPN (Virtual Private Network). Try PureSquare’, our global protective suite with PureVPN, PureKeep, PureEncrypt, and PurePrivacy, joining the ultimate defense team.

PureVPN

Execute secure crypto wallet transactions without compromising your personal information. With advanced features, PureVPN keeps you invisible on the Internet while you trade cryptocurrency and explore its features without the scammer’s interruptions.

PureKeep

Remember, the first step for address poisoning scams is click baits which lead attackers into your system. But with PureKeep, you secure passwords from scammers. How can they go further? If they don’t bypass the first step. Generate robust passwords on the fly and access them effortlessly across all your devices, ensuring maximum security for your Blockchain accounts.

PureEncrypt

Secure your data in the stronghold of PureEncrypt. Feel confident that your Blockchain account details are protected from breaches, and experience effortless access to them without copying your address for the next transaction.

PurePrivacy

Manage your online visibility and protect your blockchain account details using PurePrivacy. It detects and reduces data weaknesses, avoids intrusive ads, and preserves online anonymity. With PurePrivacy, you have authority over your digital space, defending against scams like Address Poisoning and various online dangers.

On what platforms do Address Poisoning Scams take place?

Address Poisoning Scams mostly affect blockchain user accounts on platforms such as Ethereum. However, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, or Tron are frequently targeted for address spoofing due to their cheap transaction fees, which allow scammers to affect thousands of users.

Do I personally get scammed?

It’s easy to get scammed on blockchain networks as they are public. You are one of the targets of Address Poisoning scammers if you frequently transact cryptos.

Is it safe to use a poisoned account?

Yes, you can use a poisoned account, but after taking precautions, including double checking your address, avoiding copying your address from previous transactions, and using a security solution to protect your identity for the future. 

Should I keep the coins I received from the scammer?

When you transact on Blockchain accounts, you cannot revert them. Similarly, if you receive coins from the scammer, you can keep them. These are regular coins that do not compromise your account.

Are NFT received from the scammer unsafe?

NFT(Non-Fungible Tokens) are safe unless you interact with them. Instead, please right-click on the NFT and hide it.

So what’s the antidote?

Among all the crypto scams, Address Poisoning is different because it only works if the account user isn’t paying attention to transactions. 

Even if your address is poisoned, you can still use it with precautions, including double-checking it and avoiding copying account addresses from the transaction history. 

If you are still scammed, report it and secure your account from further attacks with a VPN service. 

author

Anas Hasan

date

August 10, 2023

time

11 months ago

Anas Hassan is a tech geek and cybersecurity enthusiast. He has a vast experience in the field of digital transformation industry. When Anas isn’t blogging, he watches the football games.

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