Fake Elon Musk Account Promotes Bitcoin Scam on Twitter

Clothes retailer Matalan appeared to have had its Twitter account targeted today by scammers

Clothes retailer Matalan appeared to have had its Twitter account targeted today by scammers Credit Shirlaine Forrest Getty Images

According to Business Insider, while Twitter has previously attempted to stop impersonation scams, the hackers have managed to promote their tweets and capitalize on the cryptocurrency frenzy.

I decided to make the biggest crypto-giveaway in the world, for all my readers who use Bitcoin.

A number of verified Twitter accounts were compromised Monday - including those owned by a US lawmaker, a film company, and a book publisher - all to impersonate SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Often scammers have used other compromised accounts to respond to the initial post, claiming they've received a bitcoin payment in a move created to trick users into thinking the scheme is legitimate. A scammer hijacked various verified Twitter accounts to run promoted tweets mostly asking for money for scam schemes.

This isn't the first time a scam of this nature has appeared on twitter. Furthermore, the hacker also mentioned that Musk has left his post as the Director of Tesla, and chose to host this giveaway to provide thanks for his support.

In October, Musk caused a stir in the cryptoverse upon tweeting out "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?" in a longer, meme-filled Twitter thread.

A lot of people have also criticized Twitter for even allowing people to do this.

Twitter actually locked Musk's account for some time, believing it had actually been compromised.

The next ingenious step was to hack more accounts with the signature blue tick of Twitter.

One of the scam tweets. Names of celebrities including the likes of Warren Buffet, President Donald Trump, Bill Gates and John McAfee have been used to crypto-scams.

A Twitter spokesperson told the BBC that the company has "substantially improved how we tackle crypto-currency scams on the platform".

"In recent weeks, user impressions have fallen by a multiple of 10 as we continue to invest in more proactive tools to detect spammy and malicious activity", it added.

Security experts claim that bots are now being used to automate such scams.

One of the accounts was the Swansea City AFC Ladies account who commented saying that they had received back coins under different posts.

Now the scam has become more nuanced as it uses Twitter's own verification to make it more convincing. Elon Musk sought the help of Dogecoin founder Jackson Palmer.

At the beginning of the year, the social media app, Twitter saw an influx of Charlie Lee impersonators.

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