Scam Sniffer says crypto scammer Inferno Drainer has stolen $5.9M in crypto

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Web3 scam detector platform Scam Sniffer announced Friday that it suspected Inferno Drainer, a vendor specializing in multi-chain scams, to be connected to numerous fraudulent activities. These scams have resulted in the theft of several million dollars.

Through data analysis of Ethereum, Arbitrum, BNB Chain and other blockchain networks, Scam Sniffer identified 4,888 individuals who had fallen victim to these scams, collectively losing over $5.9 million in cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Approximately 1,699 ETH was stolen and distributed among five separate addresses, each of which held a range of 300 to 400 ETH.

Previously, 0xSaiyanGod, a security enthusiast and pseudonymous Twitter user, encountered an individual called “Mr. Inferno,” believed to be a member of the scam-as-a-service group Inferno Drainer, while browsing the Scam Sniffer Telegram channel. 0xSaiyanGod immediately reported the scammer in the channel, prompting an investigation by Scam Sniffer.

During the investigation, Scam Sniffer came across a screenshot showing a drain transaction worth $103,000, executed using a Permit2 exploit, a type of phishing scam that exploits a simplified token approval process.

The screenshot contained the transaction hash associated with the theft, leading the Scam Sniffer team to further investigate the transaction. Through this investigation, Scam Sniffer identified the address of the exploiter.

Further investigation revealed that this address had been connected to 689 phishing websites since March 27. However, Scam Sniffer acknowledged that the data were limited to the available blockchain information, and Inferno’s activities might have started earlier.

Inferno Drainer expects a 20 percent share of the profits for its scamming services. The group also offers to build phishing sites for customers, but this provision is exclusively reserved for “good customers or individuals with significant potential” in exchange for a 30 percent cut.

Among the victims, the wallet with the highest losses had nearly $400,000 of assets stolen. The victim attempted to negotiate with the scammer, proposing a deal where the scammer would keep 50 percent of the stolen goods.

Last month, Scam Sniffer uncovered a similar scam-as-a-service called Venom Drainer, which took $27 million from around 15,000 victims. The top five victims collectively lost $14 million. The scammers also created 530 phishing sites, targeting approximately 170 brands.

Scams in crypto industry

In recent months, the crypto community has become increasingly concerned about scams disguised as services. Monkey Drainer, which was exposed by ZachXBT in October, had stolen at least $1 million worth of ETH from unsuspecting users before shutting down in March.

The scammers specifically targeted well-known brands in the crypto ecosystem, including Pepe, Collab.Land, zkSync, MetaMask, Nakamigos and others. It is estimated that they exploited around 220 different brands to deceive investors.

Despite the decline in the crypto market, crypto-related scams continue to take place. All-in-one blockchain investigative tool Crystal Blockchain found that 2022 saw the highest number of reported crypto fraud cases at 120 incidents. This figure represents a 28 percent increase compared to the previous year.

However, the total amount of funds lost in 2022 due to these incidents was less than half of the losses reported in 2021, in which crypto scams resulted in $4.6 billion in lost funds.


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