Cybercriminals have changed tactics and are now targeting metaverse investors with phishing attacks.
Sharing their stories, the victims of these attacks claim they believed their investments were solid, seeing as the metaverse combines blockchain and crypto technology. However, soon after purchasing their metaverse land, they lost it to malicious actors. Specifically, the hackers tricked them into clicking links that appeared to be portals to the virtual universe.
The unwitting investors opened phishing sites by clicking the links, stealing their credentials. As a result, bad actors got access to their metaverse property.
Among the victims of metaverse fraud is long-term care nurse Kasha Desrosiers. She invested $16,000 in purchasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing virtual land in The Sandbox and SuperWorld. Desrosiers shared that she hoped to create an educative game on human anatomy and physiology in the virtual world.
However, her dreams did not see the light of day. Approximately three months into her first metaverse purchases, Desrosiers searched Decentraland on her browser and clicked the first link that popped up. The link led to a phishing site that enabled hackers to clean out her MetaMask wallet.
Tracy Carlinsky, an online fitness instructor, faced the same fate. She lost her $20,000 investment in The Sandbox. According to her, the phishing site was almost identical to The Sandbox’s login page.
In their quest to join a new wave of web investors, both Desrosiers and Carlinsky, among other victims, learned a lesson about the dangers of pumping money into high-risk investments.
Corporate investors continue investing in the metaverse
With the metaverse being new, authorities do not keep details on how much investors have lost to fraudsters. However, phishing attacks in the metaverse have been on the rise. For instance, Decentraland suffered a phishing attack targeting MailChimp. As a result, the hacker got access to hundreds of email addresses.
Although metaverse consumers are losing money to scammers, institutional investors are increasingly dumping their money in the metaverse. For instance, Animoca Brands, the firm behind The Sandbox, recently raised $358 million from renowned investors like Liberty City Ventures and 10T Holdings. The company currently has a valuation of more than $5 billion.
Big organizations are also diving head-first into the virtual world. An example is Samsung, which launched a virtual store in Decentraland. The store is titled Samsung 837X, and it borrows its design from the firm’s physical store on 837 Washington Street in New York City.