Billionaire loses nearly $1 million through cryptocurrency scam. What happened and how can you avoid the costly Cuban mistake?

“Did Mark Cuban just drain his wallet?”: Billionaire loses nearly $1 million to cryptocurrency scam. What happened and how can you avoid the costly Cuban mistake?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lost nearly $1 million in cryptocurrency — and likely fell prey to a popular scam that all Americans should be wary of.

The potential for a major theft was first reported on September 15 by a blockchain monitor on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“Did Mark Cuban’s wallet just get drained? The wallet has been inactive for 160 days and all assets have just been transferred,” WazzCrypto User Posted on the platform Plus a screenshot showing a series of transfers – all within a few minutes – from a digital wallet bearing the name Cuban.

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Cuban He confirmed his misfortune To cryptocurrency news outlet DL News. The billionaire entrepreneur and investor believes he has downloaded a dodgy version of popular cryptocurrency wallet software MetaMask “with some stuff in it.”

“I went into MetaMask for the first time in months,” he told the outlet. “They must have been watching.”

In total, nearly $870,000 was taken across 10 cryptocurrencies from Cuba, according to DL News.

It is still unclear exactly how Cuban’s wallet was hacked. He did not make any public statements and did not immediately respond to CNBC Request for comment.

The version of MetaMask he downloaded was likely a Trojan – a type of malware that masquerades as legitimate software that can give hackers access to your network, files, and data. It’s also possible that the hackers gained access to his account via phishing, meaning he was tricked into providing his login credentials.

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Even digitally savvy individuals, like Cuban, who became a billionaire in 1999 at the age of 40 during the dot-com boom, can fall prey to cyberattacks.

What is phishing?

Phishing is an attempt by hackers or cybercriminals to lure people into sharing sensitive personal information — such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, and Social Security numbers — which they can then use to exploit or steal from you.

They do this by sending malicious emails, text messages, or even phone calls from seemingly trustworthy sources, such as a colleague, acquaintance, or organization like a bank or the IRS.

Most of these emails or messages aim to lure victims into clicking on a deceptive link requesting certain login credentials or other personal information.

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Phishing has proven to be a very popular and lucrative scam for fraudsters. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received. 800,944 complaints in 2022With losses exceeding $10.3 billion. Phishing schemes were the top type of crime with 300,497 complaints, and for the first time, investment schemes reported the highest financial loss to victims.

Victims aged 30 to 39 were the largest reporting group, while the largest dollar loss was suffered by citizens aged 60 and above, IC3 reported.

Perfect cybersecurity is very difficult to achieve, but here are some ways to reduce the risk of taking the common bait and falling victim to phishing.

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How to protect yourself from scams

First and foremost, you need to educate yourself so that you can understand what phishing emails or malicious links might look like.

In an email form, scammers typically use a subject line that prompts you to open the message, such as an alert, update, action required, or request for information. For example, you could receive an email from someone pretending to be from your bank and asking you to log in via a spoofed link (where they can steal your credentials) in order to update some information.

There are ways to recognize fraudulent messages. You should always check the sender’s email address for unusual spellings or email domains. Often times, they will try to look like a legitimate domain so as not to arouse suspicion, but there may be a slight difference between them such as a number or symbol instead of a letter (such as name@gmai!.com).

United State Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency People are cautioned to be wary of generic greetings (such as “Dear Member,” “Dear Account Holder,” or “Dear Customer”), spelling or layout errors, deceptive hyperlinks and suspicious attachments.

Whether you’re using email, social media, or even just browsing the Internet and thinking about clicking a pop-up ad, you should never download an attachment, application, or even a software patch if you’re not sure what it is. You may unintentionally download a Trojan.

Likewise, you should always hover your mouse over a hyperlink before clicking it to see where the link will take you. As with dodgy email domains, URLs are easy to spoof through misspellings and other anomalies.

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Finally, there are digital hygiene practices that every American should practice. Where possible, you should consider using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access your online applications and accounts. In addition to entering your username and password, MFA requires more verification factors, such as a PIN from a text message or phone app, for access.

You should also make every effort to update your digital software and Internet browsers with appropriate antivirus software installed. Although none of these measures are completely fail-safe, they can protect you from costly mistakes in the future.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. They are provided without warranty of any kind.

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