According to a recent investigation by Scam Sniffer, a scammer by the name of Inferno Drainer is believed to have conned thousands of unsuspecting users, extracting approximately $6 million in cryptocurrency assets. This scamming spree commenced on March 27, and in its wake, it has left a portfolio of 689 fraudulent websites.
Borrowing the credibility of 229 well-regarded brands, Inferno Drainer has spun an intricate web of deception. By mirroring the likes of MetaMask, OpenSea, Collab.Land and Pepe, among others, it’s fooled nearly 4,888 individuals who mistook these fake websites for the real deal. Imagine walking into what you believe is your favourite store, only to discover it’s an elaborate set designed to rob you blind.
A Recipe for Deception
Inferno Drainer’s illicit craft involves providing others with malicious software and also constructing replicas of legitimate websites in what can be called a ‘scam-as-a-service’ product.
Unwitting visitors, believing they’re navigating genuine digital landscapes, unknowingly hand over crucial data—passwords, private keys—that serve as the keys to their cryptocurrency kingdoms. Allegedly, the scammer levies a fee of 20% to 30% on the stolen assets.
Delving into the associated data on various chains—Mainnet, Arbitrum, BNB, and others—Scam Sniffer concluded that Inferno Drainer has accrued around $5.9 million in stolen assets. A breakdown shows Mainnet with $4.3 million, Arbitrum with $0.79 million, Polygon with $0.41 million, and BNB with $0.39 million.
One victim lost $400,000 in assets and has tried to make a deal with the scammer to return 50% of the amount stolen.
Tracing Inferno Drainer’s Ill-Gotten Gains
This sophisticated phishing scheme came to light when a suspected Inferno Scammer member wandered into Scam Sniffer’s Telegram channel. A digital detective story ensued, unearthing connections to the phishing tool’s official promotion channel on Telegram.
Scam Sniffer’s report serves as a sobering wake-up call, highlighting the escalating threats within the digital economy. It demonstrates the lengths cybercriminals will go to exploit the vastness and relative anonymity of the internet.
Furthermore, cryptocurrencies’ decentralised nature and their transactions’ permanence only compound the problem. It’s like throwing a stone in a pond—the ripples may spread far and wide, but the stone never comes back.
Currently, Inferno Drainer remains at large, and the digital manhunt to neutralise its operations and bring those responsible to justice is ongoing.