‘Romance scams’ dupe victims out of $374mn in crypto losses this year

Approval phishing, a standing tactic used for scams has undergone changes, over time. Recently there has been a trend wherein romance scammers, also known as pig butchering scammers have adopted this method. While approval phishing has traditionally targeted a range of cryptocurrency users by creating crypto apps it has now found success in romance scams.

Unlike cryptocurrency scams approval phishing takes an approach. It involves tricking users into authorizing a transaction. This transaction grants the scammers address permission to spend tokens from the victims wallet. By doing these cunning scammers are able to drain the victims wallet of these tokens at their discretion. As a result some victims have suffered losses amounting to millions.

Understanding the workings of approval phishing is crucial. Unlike scams where scammers directly convince victims to send them cryptocurrency, approval phishing relies on deceiving users into signing a transaction that allows the scammers address access and control over tokens, within their wallet. This process typically occurs in two steps;

  1. The victims address signs off on a transaction that approves another address (known as the approved spender address) to spend their funds.
  2. The approved spender address then executes its transaction by moving the funds to a destination address.

It is worth noting that phishing scammers often redirect the funds of their victims to a wallet from the one that was initially authorized for transactions, on behalf of the victim. This multi step process allows scammers to hide their actions and avoid detection.

A clear indication of approval phishing is when there is a reversal in the transaction process. Unlike transactions where the victim initiates the spending transaction in approval phishing it is the approved spenders address that takes on this role. This abnormality raises suspicion. Should be seen as a warning sign for users.

While this pattern serves as a guideline it is crucial to conduct investigations to confirm instances of approval phishing. As scammers continuously refine their tactics users must remain vigilant implement security measures and exercise caution to safeguard themselves against evolving threats, in the cryptocurrency landscape.