Nigeria, Indonesia, United State, India, and Vietnam : Most crypto scam victims in the world

Director of Security at MyCrypto, Harry Denley said that Indonesia, Nigeria, the US, India, and Vietnam, have some of the highest victim rates for crypto scams.

Nigeria is the highest victim rates for crypto scams | Source: Mycrypto

Denley followed crypto scams since June 2018 from Bitly links that directed victims to fraudulent websites that wanted to trick them out of cryptocurrencies. He analyzed potential victims of crypto scams for 118,302 clicks and reported the rate of these clicks is mainly in Nigeria, Indonesia, the US, and Vietnam. So, he identified that the regions are among the highest victim rates for crypto scams. The following is the analytical data of country click-through rates for Bit.ly scams from Dune Analytics:

  1. Nigeria — 14%
  2. Indonesia — 11%
  3. United States — 9%
  4. Vietnam — 8%
  5. India – 8%

So how did Bit.ly approach “preys”?

According to Denley, this scam site took advantage of the popularity of network platforms such as Email, Twitter, etc. to approach users. After that,  they would be promised a bunch of tokens through an airdrop, usually advertised to be worth a good amount of USD, and they’d be asked to provide personal information such as phone number, Email address, and Ethereum address.

After scammers have collected that information, the user would be sent to a fake wallet interface to sign a message that would use the Bitly link.

By using Dune, Denley found that 14 percent of victims were in Nigeria, 11 percent in Indonesia, 9 percent in the US, 8 percent in India and 8 percent in Vietnam.

However, Denley admitted that his study has some limitations. Google Trends data, which shows there is little interest in blockchain, and this doesn’t correlate with the Bit.ly Analytics data.

The following is a chart on Google Trend showing the level of interest in Nigeria for Ethereum, Blockchain and Bitcoin.

chart data

Chart on Google Trend in Nigeria for Ethereum, Blockchain, and Bitcoin \ Source: Mycrypto

Denly believes this means that the links were sent to individuals directly, or that people clicking on the link have VPNs to redirect traffic to the most popular scam sites. In fact, new scammers with new types of scams are everywhere and at any time, so his data set represents just a certain part of the true problem.

Now let’s take a look at the chart which analyzes phishing and scams going through Bit.ly from Dune:

Chart from Dune

Chart analyzes phishing and scams going through Bit.ly for ETH  | Source: MyCrypto

We can see that the difference between the deposit frequency and withdraw frequency from flagged addresses is quite large. Denley also said when he tracked a total of 266 ETH, he found that lots of wallet addresses were single-use addresses that directed funds to a larger consolidation of addresses. Some of these hold more than $100,000. In fact, a big percentage (34%) of the stolen funds went to just one address, which holds around $150,000.

Furthermore, he emphasized in his report:

“This scam method would only work if you were using an insecure (on the internet) method such as a raw private key, mnemonic phrase, or Keystore file”.

So, he suggested the method to avoid this type of scam:

“We recommend getting yourself a hardware wallet, such as a Ledger or a Trezor, so that your private keys always stay offline in a contained device.”

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