Fake Elon Musk Twitter accounts promote Bitcoin scams raising $170,000

Galtero Lara
Noviembre 8, 2018

The account, however, has now been regained following the removal of the malicious tweets and any mentions of Elon Musk. This time, it is not his Twitter account that was compromised, but instead, hackers used verified accounts of other leading companies like UK fashion retailer Matalan, the U.S. book publisher Pantheon Books, and a filmmaking studio Pathe UK. Some retweets from the real Elon Musk account were still on the page.

The scam is made to seem more trustworthy as various other compromised accounts reply to the tweet claiming that it works.

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.

Regardless of the specifics of this scam, this odd occurrence highlights the reoccurring theme and relationship between Elon Musk, arguably the world's most well-known CEO, and Bitcoin and the nascent crypto industry, which he has seemingly lightly dabbled in.

"The nature of this scam brings to light some seemingly obvious issues with Twitter's verified account system". Several users tried to alert the community by posting tweets.

As reported earlier this month, this not the first case of multiple "Musks" promoting crypto giveaway scams.

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

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But they didn't stop there - then (using a stolen credit card we can safely assume) they purchased advertising from Twitter and gave the post some extra promotion - causing tens of thousands of extra people to see it. Fortunately, this time, it isn't actually the man himself.

"There's no easy way to force verified users to keep security settings such as two factor enabled, and all it takes is one successful phish to set a scam in motion", he said. These fakes of the past, however, only used Musk's name and likeness.

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

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

Now the scam has become more nuanced as it uses Twitter's own verification to make it more convincing.

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

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