My pal lost £140,000 of Ethereum after being scammed by fake crypto wallet… here’s what to look out for

A MAN has lost £140,000 worth of Ethereum after being duped by a fake cryptocurrency wallet.

The shocking theft happened when the trader tried to convert some junk coins for more valuable crypto known as Stablecoin after clicking on a fake Google ad.

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A crypto trader lost £140,000 after clicking on a fake Google adCredit: Reuters
The scam has been around since December and affected MetaMask users

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The scam has been around since December and affected MetaMask usersCredit: Getty

The online vigilantes took off with Ethereum coins and other crypto the trader had on his wallet which ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds, the victim’s pal explained in a Reddit post yesterday.

U/Imadade said his mate – who he claims has a “computer science degree” and “made a fortune” trading crypto – had “accidentally clicked on a Google ad for MetaMask wallet”.

He was forwarded onto “a site with a near exact replica of the official website” and entered his details in.

Before he could realise what had just happened, scammers ran off with £140,000 in virtual cash.

“It was [a] phishing website that copied the brand and messaging of the original wallet website, to near perfection,” U/Imadade wrote.

“Luckily, this was only one of many wallets that he had and the scammers ran away with 38ETH & the remaining amount… In total, he lost perhaps ~$190,000 USD.”

He added: “To make matters worse, MetaMask took far too long to help him and to offer him support and the scammers successfully made way with the funds.”

The Reddit user left a stark warning for other traders.

“Please stay vigilant,” he wrote. “Don’t get complacent.”

“Part of the responsibility we have with cryptocurrency is to self-manage. If this is to replace the current banking system, we need to understand how important it is to uphold security of our wallets and our private keys.

“Do not click on ANY Google ad search suggestions under ANY circumstance.”

MetaMask is a cryptocurrency wallet where users can interact with the lucrative crypto Ethereum.

According to Bleeping Computer, MetaMask has a community of more than one million users.

The risks of buying with cryptocurrencies

Investing and making a purchase in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is risky .

Their value is highly volatile and City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors should be prepared to lose all their money.

Investing in cryptocurrencies is not a guaranteed way to make money.

You should also think carefully about making purchases with a cryptocurrency.

For example, Bitcoin has had wild price fluctuations in recent months and the price can change on an almost hourly basis.

The price of a Bitcoin was at $40,258 on January 9, according to Coindesk, but fell to $34,214 just three days later.

That’s a 15% drop.

These price swings are risky for a business as you could sell an item for a Bitcoin at one price and the value may drop soon after, leaving you with less money from a sale.

Similarly, the price of Bitcoin has soared by more than 21% since the start of this week so it can be hard for a shopper to get an accurate idea of the price of an item if its value changes on a daily basis.

The article also claims the scam has been around since at least December 2020.

MetaMask users can access their Ethereum crypto wallet via browser extension that’s blockchain secured.

According to the site, “some say they ended up with empty wallets after clicking on a fraudulent search ad being promoted as the MetaMask site”.

It turns out the unwitting users downloaded a phishing scam – a type of ruse that sees attackers send fraudulent messages design to trick people into revealing sensitive information such as passwords – via the Google Ad.

MetaMask has since alerted its community of the scam and recommended the use of direct links to the legitimate metamask.io URL and to stay away from sponsored ads.

Google has been contacted for comment.

Ethereum is one of the cryptos accessible on MetaMask

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Ethereum is one of the cryptos accessible on MetaMaskCredit: Getty

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