Scammer Swindles $20M USDT in Zero Transfer Scheme, Faces Tether Blacklisting

The incident was reported by on-chain analytics firm PeckShield, which revealed that the scammer managed to take 20 million USDT from the victim’s wallet address, 0x4071…9Cbc. The victim had intended to send the money to address 0xa7B4BAC8f0f9692e56750aEFB5f6cB5516E90570, but it was sent to a phishing address, 0xa7Bf48749D2E4aA29e3209879956b9bAa9E90570, instead.

The scam unfolded when the victim’s wallet first received $10 million from a Binance account. The victim then made another transfer before the scammer intervened. The scammer sent a fake Zero USDT token transfer from the victim’s account to the phishing address, tricking the victim into thinking they were sending the tokens to their intended address. Consequently, the victim sent 20 million USDT to the scammer’s address.

Tether acted swiftly and blacklisted the scammer’s wallet, freezing the funds. The speed of Tether’s action raised eyebrows within the crypto community.

This phishing scam exploited the fact that users often check only the first or last five digits of a wallet address rather than the entire address. The victim was misled into sending the tokens to a phishing address that resembled a previously used address. The scammer took advantage of this and executed the attack.

Zero transfer phishing scams have gained prominence in the crypto ecosystem over the past year, with several instances coming to light. The first known instance occurred in December 2022, and since then, these attacks have caused losses of over $40 million.

Such scams serve as a reminder for users to be vigilant when verifying wallet addresses and conducting transactions in the crypto space to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks.

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