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Phishing Scams Are Booming on Ethereum Layer 2, Up 1,880%

Phishing scams on Base skyrocket in March, reaching $3.35 million

Ethereum layer 2 Base has experienced an alarming 18-fold increase in cryptocurrency funds stolen from phishing scams in March compared to January figures, according to recent data from blockchain anti-scam platform Scam Sniffer. Approximately $3.35 million was stolen by phishing scammers on Base in March alone, marking a 334% month-on-month increase from February's tally of $773,900 and a staggering 1,880% spike compared to January, when Base only lost $169,000 to phishing scams.

Binance's BNB Chain also observed a similar surge in phishing scams in March, as noted by Scam Sniffer in an April 2 X post. 

Across all chains, approximately $71.5 million was lost to phishing scammers from 77,529 victims, surpassing the tallies of $58.3 million and $46.8 million in January and February, respectively. Scam Sniffer highlighted that phishing links from fake X accounts remain a "primary tactic" for scammers, with over 1,500 incidents detected in March.

Base's phishing scam surge coincides with memecoin craze and TVL growth

The rise in Base phishing scams coincides with a recent memecoin craze on the Coinbase-backed chain, which has helped push Base's total value locked (TVL) above $3.2 billion—marking a 370% increase so far in 2024, according to L2BEAT.

Despite the surge in phishing scams, overall crypto hack thefts fell 48% to $187.2 million in March, according to an April 1 X post from blockchain security firm PeckShield. This figure factors in the $98.8 million that was recovered over the month, with almost all of those recoveries coming from the $97 million Munchibles exploit. Cryptocurrency sleuth ZachXBT was among those onboarded as a custodian to recover the stolen funds.

Meanwhile, Curio's MakerDAO-based smart contract lost $40 million, according to updated figures from PeckShield, and Prisma Finance fell victim to an $11.6 million hack. The firm is currently negotiating with the hacker on-chain to return those funds.