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Beware of Being Trapped, Fraudsters Steal IDR 7 Billion Crypto through Google Ads Ads


Perpetrators of digital crimes are now often a new way to ensnare their victims. This time, security firm Check Point Research (CPR) revealed that cybercriminals are using Google Ads ads as a scam trap. Its targets are users of popular cryptocurrency digital wallet services, such as Phantom and MetaMask which are used in the Solana and Ethereum ecosystems, respectively. How it works, when there are users who want to search for crypto wallet services through the Google search engine - for example Phantom - a Google Ads ad link containing a trap will be displayed at the top of the search results.

The URL address of this booby-trapped ad is intentionally similar for the official service, such as "", almost the same as "" which is the address of the original site. The ad will direct the victim who clicks on the link to a phishing site. The design of this site, like most phishing websites, is intentionally made to resemble the original page.

Here, a fake site will display a fake password field. If the victim is tricked into trying to login by entering a password, the password will be stolen. Victims can also choose to create a new wallet. In this case, the directions given are different. The fraudulent site will provide a recovery passphrase and instruct the victim to use it. In reality, instead of the victim's wallet, the recovery passphrase actually links to a wallet controlled by the scammer.

CPR researchers say they started observing crypto wallet scams via Google Ads after finding that victims who had suffered losses were complaining a lot on online forums like reddit.

In a press statement, Head of Products Vulnerabilities Research CPR Oded Vanunu said that this wallet fraud attempt through advertisements seemed to be effective in deceiving victims. One indication, he continued, is that there are a number of groups of scammers competing to get keywords in Google Ads through bidding. Vanunu estimates that scammers have managed to steal cryptocurrencies with a value of up to US$500,000 or more than IDR 7.1 billion in the past week.

I think we are experiencing a new cybercrime trend, where scammers are using Google Search as their primary means of attack to target crypto wallets, instead of traditional phishing via e-mail," Vanunu said. Ads violated its policies outright. Google said accounts involved in such activity had been suspended, while the ads were removed. "This looks like an attempt by bad actors to evade our detection. We're always working to adapt our enforcement mechanisms to prevent violations," a Google spokesperson said.

In order not to fall victim to scammers ad traps targeting crypto wallets, we are careful, Vanunu advises users to be careful and check the site URL first. Also avoid clicking on Google Ads links related to wallets when searching the internet.

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