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New Wave of Faux Elon Musk Accounts Run Bitcoin Scams on Twitter

08 November 2018

This would indicate that the scam-promoting tweet, likely promoted to the feeds of thousands, somehow worked, even in spite of the typos and the outrageous BTC returns that "Elon Musk" offered.

While it's far from the first time that scammers have promoted crypto tricks under Musk's name, it is the first time that prominent accounts with blue ticks have been targeted, presumably to add legitimacy to the attempt.

To dupe users out of their cryptocurrency, the hackers promise to double the investment of anyone who sends a small amount of Bitcoin to their wallet.

There are other verified accounts which have been used by the hackers which have commented under the original "Elon Musk" tweet but with different names leading Twitter users to believe that this is legitimate.

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Several users familiar with the scam attempted to alert the community about these fakes. Also, the compromised accounts retweeted actual Elon Musk tweets en masse to make their pages superficially convincing.

Numerous scam tweets still contained the trademark of classic scams, odd grammatical structures, typos, and a request for money from the users before they can receive money themselves.

This week, however, the scam appeared to go one step beyond the norm, achieving "promoted" status on Twitter.

The scheme was made to appear trustworthy with replies from other compromised accounts of users with lots of followers, including boxer Rayton Okwiri, blogger Sarah Scoop and Swansea City AFC Ladies.

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Several verified Twitter accounts were hacked earlier on Tuesday.

Hackers reportedly compromised several different accounts, including those of film production firm Pathe U.K. and USA politician Frank Pallone Jr.

Pathe later said its account was hacked "by an unknown third party", saying the issue had since been resolved. It's a common tactic to use high-profile public figures for these scam attempts and Twitter has been fighting a long battle to ban the accounts.

It became so frequent on the social network that the Tesla chief was briefly blocked from his own Twitter account after he parodied the scam by sending a tweet asking: "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?".

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While the spokeswoman for Twitter claimed that the company is actively working on how to tackle cryptocurrency scams and that the number of hoaxes decreased by 10 times in recent weeks, the ordeal still raises many questions to security experts.

New Wave of Faux Elon Musk Accounts Run Bitcoin Scams on Twitter