• MetaMask recently warned the crypto community of a new type of scam called ‘address poisoning’.
• This scam exploits absentmindedness when copying and pasting wallet addresses.
• Address poisoning attacks rely on user carelessness and haste, as scammers attempt to dupe users into sending funds to their own ‘vanity’ addresses.
MetaMask recently issued a warning to the cryptocurrency community about a new type of scam called ‘address poisoning’. This scam exploits users’ absentmindedness when copying and pasting wallet addresses. It relies on carelessness and haste from users in order to dupe them into sending funds to the scammers’ own ‘vanity’ addresses.
Cryptocurrency wallets typically generate long, hexadecimal addresses that are difficult to remember and easy to mix up with other similar addresses. As a result, many wallet providers, including MetaMask, feature a one-click function to copy an address. This is where the scammers take advantage, as they observe and track transactions of particular tokens, with stablecoins commonly targeted. The scammers then use a ‘vanity’ address generator to create an address that is identical or very similar to the address of the user they are targeting.
The scammer then waits for the user to copy and paste the address they are sending funds to, as they would normally do. However, the user will unwittingly paste the scammer’s address instead of the intended address, allowing the scammer to take possession of the user’s funds.
MetaMask urges users to take extra caution when copying and pasting wallet addresses and double-check addresses before sending funds. Users should also be aware of any messages from their wallet provider informing them of a suspicious address.
The cryptocurrency community should remain vigilant against all types of scams, not just address poisoning. While this scam may be ‘rather innocuous compared to other scam types’, it still has the potential to cause significant financial losses. Therefore, it is essential that users remain alert and take all necessary measures to protect their funds.