$69.3 Million in Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) Lost to Address Poisoning Scam

Published: May 3, 2024
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

In a recent incident of address poisoning, 1,155 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), equivalent to approximately $69.3 million, were transferred to the wrong address.

Blockchain security firm CertiK first reported the news, and on-chain sleuth ZachXBT and the CEO of real-time security alert platform Cyvers later confirmed it.

Key points:

  • 1,155 WBTC, worth around $69.3 million, was lost due to a poisoning scam.
  • The scammer mimicked the first and last six characters of the victim’s intended wallet address.
  • The incident represents the largest loss resulting from an address poisoning scam to date.
  • Address poisoning exploits the length and complexity of cryptocurrency wallet addresses.
Source: Etherscan

Also read: ZKasino Scammer Arrested: Dutch Authorities Seize $12.3 Million In Assets

Crypto scammer mimicked a transfer of 0.05 ETH

According to CertiK, their system detected the transfer of 1,155 Wrapped Bitcoin to an address linked to a poisoning EOA (Externally Owned Account) with the identifier 0xd9A1. The scammer had mimicked a transfer of 0.05 ETH, which led the victim to send the substantial sum of WBTC to the wrong address.

The CEO of Cyvers, a real-time security alert platform, shared the news on X. He stated that this incident likely represents the highest value lost due to an address poisoning scam to date.

On-chain sleuth ZachXBT further shared the news, confirming that someone had indeed lost $68 million in WBTC by mistakenly copying the wrong address.

Address poisoning is a deceptive technique that exploits the length and complexity of cryptocurrency wallet addresses, which can be up to 42 characters long.

Also read: Crypto Losses From Hacks And Scams Hit Record Low In April: CertiK

Scammers create an address that closely resembles the victim’s intended address. They typically mimic the first and last six characters while altering the other characters.

The scammer then relies on the sender to overlook the discrepancy and proceed with the transaction, resulting in the funds being sent to the wrong address.

This incident highlights the importance of double-checking wallet addresses before initiating any cryptocurrency transactions, especially when dealing with large sums.  

Vignesh Karunanidhi

Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 6 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 6 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.