Cybercriminals Launch an Onslaught of Phishing Scams on the Metaverse

In a recent study, almost 1 in 8 internet users had been phished. The Merkle team spent the last week investigating how this might play out on blockchain-powered games.

The “is metaverse worth it” is a question that has been asked many times in the past. The answer to this question is not simple and cannot be answered with just one word.

The metaverse seems to be a new soft target for phishing schemes and fraud by cybercriminals. According to victim testimonials, individuals were under the impression that their investments were safe and legitimate, thanks to the metaverse’s integration with blockchain technology. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for cybercriminals to steal what they believed were their metaverse lands once the investors purchased them.

The hackers enticed them into visiting what are known as “phishing pages,” which look to the metaverse to be authentic websites. As soon as The Sufferers clicked on the links, they were fooled into submitting vital information and credentials to hackers.  

The Sufferers

All those investors wanted was a piece of the action in the metaverse, a dynamic new virtual world based on blockchain networks and platforms. Because of the participation of various A-list celebrities, artists, fashion labels, and high-rolling investors, the metaverse grew to popularity swiftly. 

While this seems appealing, and the metaverse does provide a plethora of potential possibilities and uses, it isn’t without flaws. 

The metaverse isn’t immune to cybercriminals, as is painfully obvious. The investors had to learn the hard way about the security concerns of virtual investment.  

The popularity of investing in virtual real estate (purchasing land in the metaverse and then selling it for profit on various NFT and blockchain platforms) has undoubtedly prompted fraudsters and hackers to emerge from the shadows. Authorities claim that thieves use a variety of high-tech tools and malware applications to create phishing schemes that are difficult to detect.

Kasha Desrosiers, a skilled long-term care nurse, was one of The Sufferers. Ms Desrosiers bought NFTs worth $16,000. It represented metaverse land in popular metaverse platforms such as The Sandbox and SuperWorld. 

Her ambition, she added, was to create a virtual world game based on human physiology and anatomy. Regrettably, she is no longer capable of doing so. Desrosiers visited a website called Decentraland after purchasing the NFTs and unintentionally clicked on a phishing link that sent her to a phishing site where the criminal actors emptied her MetaMask wallet.

Tracy Carlinksy, an online fitness expert, had a similar experience. She went to a phishing scam site that looked very identical to The Sandbox’s homepage. Carlinksy had a $20,000 loss.  

High-Rolling Investors Continue to Invest in the Metaverse Despite Phishing Scams

Authorities have yet to maintain detailed statistics of how much money small investors lose due to cybercrime since the metaverse is such a young phenomenon. However, phishing schemes in the metaverse are at an all-time high and are only going to get worse. Despite the fact that investors may have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, corporate investors show no signs of stopping down, still pumping money into the virtual stratosphere.

For example, you may be astonished to learn that Animoca Brands, the business behind The Sandbox, recently raised more than $350 million in funding from a variety of investors, including 10T Holdings and Liberty City Ventures. The Sandbox is currently valued at more than $5 billion!

Platforms in the Metaverse Go Live

According to Taylor Monahan, MetaMask’s product lead, the business will soon build a platform that would allow phishing scam victims to retrieve their stolen funds. “We’re aiming to establish a platform where individuals will have a fighting chance to recover their money back from fraudsters,” Monahan said in an interview with CNBC.

As an example:

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The “apple metaverse” is a virtual reality system that allows users to interact with other avatars and objects in the world. Cybercriminals have recently launched an onslaught of phishing scams on the Metaverse.

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