Thousands of Coinbase Users Hit by Phishing Attack — Here's How to Protect Yourself – Motley Fool

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by Emma Newbery | Published on Oct. 6, 2021
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Over 6,000 Coinbase customers lost money in the phishing attack.
Coinbase has shared details of a broad phishing attack that took place in April and May of this year. The popular cryptocurrency exchange said there had been “a significant uptick in Coinbase-branded phishing messages targeting users of a range of commonly used email service providers.”
Phishing is where criminals impersonate legitimate organizations through fake email, text, or phone messages. They then trick customers into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or account details.
According to Reuters, over 6,000 Coinbase customers lost money to the scammers. But these types of scams don’t only happen in cryptocurrency. More widely, a report from security experts Tessian shows that 75% of organizations around the world experienced some kind of phishing attack in 2020 — and 96% of those came by email.

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The scammers used several types of emails to pass themselves off as Coinbase customer service or security representatives. These included an email that pretended the user’s account had been locked, and another with a fake URL that captured user login information when clicked. One message contained an app that then gave the criminals access to people’s email accounts.
Once attackers had stolen Coinbase login details or accessed people’s email accounts, they could then go on to steal their funds. Coinbase says it has taken steps to avoid future attacks of this kind and stressed that the fraudsters did not breach the platform’s broader security measures.
The best way to protect yourself against phishing and other types of fraud is to be cautious about emails or text messages you receive, especially if you’re not expecting them.
Here are a few techniques to keep your accounts safer:
If you do accidentally click a link or fall victim to a phishing scam, make sure you change all your passwords and report the fraud to both the organization involved and the Federal Trade Commission. Depending on the type of information that’s stolen, you may also want to freeze your credit with the three major credit bureaus to prevent scammers from opening fraudulent accounts in your name.
Unfortunately, as our world becomes more digital, phishing and other forms of online fraud will increase. But the more cautious you are, the less likely you are to fall victim to them.
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Emma owns the English-language newspaper The Bogota Post. She began her editorial career at a financial website in the U.K. over 20 years ago and has been contributing to The Ascent since 2019.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
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