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Base L2 chain sees 1,880% surge in scams for Q1 2024, $3.3 million losses in March

Scam Sniffer attributes the surge in scams to hype over memecoins such as BRETT and DEGEN.

High-fantasy medieval cyberpunk scene of a market where traders are dealing with crypto.

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Ethereum layer-2 chain Base has witnessed an alarming 1,900% increase in cryptocurrency funds stolen through phishing scams in March compared to January, according to data from blockchain anti-scam platform Scam Sniffer.

This surge coincides with the explosive growth in Base’s total value locked (TVL), driven by a recent memecoin frenzy on the platform.

According to the data shown in Scam Sniffer’s report published on Dune Analytics, approximately $3.35 million was lost to phishing scams on Base in March alone, representing a 334% month-on-month increase from February’s $773,900 and a staggering 1,880% jump from January’s $169,000. Across all chains, phishing scammers claimed $71.5 million from 77,529 victims in March, surpassing the previous months’ figures of $58.3 million in January and $46.8 million in February.

The anti-scam platform noted that fake X (formerly Twitter) accounts posting phishing links remain a primary tactic for scammers, with over 1,500 such incidents detected in March. Binance’s BNB Smart Chain also experienced a similar surge in phishing scams during the same period, according to a now-deleted post by Scam Sniffer.

The rise in phishing attacks on Base coincides with the platform’s meteoric growth, largely attributed to the recent craze surrounding memecoins like Brett (BRETT) and Degen (DEGEN). The hype surrounding these tokens has helped push Base’s TVL above $3.2 billion, marking a 370% increase since the start of 2024, according to L2Beat’s chart tracking Base.

Despite the alarming increase in phishing scams, overall crypto hack thefts fell by 48% to $187.2 million in March, according to blockchain security firm PeckShield. This figure takes into account the $98.8 million that was recovered over the month, with almost all of those recoveries coming from the recent Munchables exploit.

Another recent report from ImmuneFi says that over $200 million worth of crypto has been either stolen or lost without any prospects of recovery.

Given the regained momentum in the crypto industry, this recent rise in phishing scams implies the need for improved security measures, as well as a reciprocal effort at increasing user awareness and education on security practices, especially when dealing with crypto.

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