Cybercriminals are using bots purchased on Telegram to trick users into giving them access to their cryptocurrency accounts.

According to a report by cybersecurity firm Intel471, One Time Password (OTP) bots are “remarkably easy to use” and are relatively inexpensive to operate relative to the amount that can be earned from a successful attack.

A Telegram bot known as ‘BloodOTPbot’ charges hackers a monthly fee of just $300 for access. Scammers also have the option to spend an additional $20-$100 on more phishing tools that target individual social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, financial services like Paypal and Venmo, and crypto platforms like Coinbase.

OTP bots are especially nefarious as they are usually the final step in the hacking process, after all the necessary personal information about the victim has been collected, known in hacker parlance as “the fullz”. Hackers use the OTP bot to make a seemingly official phone call, while also requesting the 2FA code from the user’s crypto platform. Once the typically nervous user divulges the code, the hackers gain immediate and full access to the victim’s account.

According to a CNBC report, Maryland-based obstetrician Dr. Anders Agpar was the victim of such an attack, in which an “official-sounding phone call” coupled with a series of notifications on his phone, reported that their Coinbase account “was compromised”

Dr. Agpar ended up in a situation where his Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) code was leaked over the phone and he was immediately locked out of his own Coinbase account, which had roughly $106,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC).

These types of OTP bot attacks are increasing in frequency and causing substantial losses to both institutions and individual retail investors. The bots have an extremely high success rate in extracting funds.

Related: 4 Tips to Avoid Phishing Attacks

Coinbase’s customer service has come under fire in the past after angry users criticized the platform for its lack of responsiveness when dealing with hackers. In a bid to improve response times and customer relationships, Coinbase acquired an Indian AI startup and created a hotline specifically to deal with account takeovers and related attacks.

A Coinbase spokesperson told CNBC: “Coinbase will never make unsolicited calls to its customers, and we encourage everyone to be cautious when providing information over the phone. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a financial institution, do not reveal any of your account details or security codes. Instead, hang up and call them back at the official phone number listed on the organization’s website.”

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