Those following notable cryptocurrency figures will be no stranger to the cryptocurrency scams that frequently appear in the comment fields of figures such as Ethereal co-founder Vitalik Buterin or the cybersecurity maestro John McAfee.
Now, however, it would seem that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company, is the latest to have fallen victim to such a scam.
Most notably, this latest scam involved an impersonator with a verified Twitter account hijacking one of Musk’s Twitter threads.
Traditionally, such Twitter impersonators usually use accounts with an identical profile picture and name and respond to recent tweets made by the individual being impersonated, with the hope of being mistaken for the legitimate account.
Furthermore, the impersonator then often promises ”free” cryptocurrency – if the potential recipients send a minuscule amount of cryptocurrency to a supplied address, they will supposedly receive a large amount of cryptocurrency in return.
In this instance, Musk has posted a philosophical tweet wholly unrelated to cryptocurrency or his business ventures, and an impersonator then joined the Twitter thread and began to offer tips on cryptocurrencies.
The fraudulent account also promised free Ethereum and Bitcoin to the CEO’s over 22 million followers, with some users falling for this – with one tweeter subsequently accusing ”Musk” of stealing from people.
Nonetheless, the most notable aspect of this scam is that the impersonator had reportedly received a Twitter-verified badge – something that is generally unheard of for high-profile cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter.
According to a Reddit thread, verified cryptocurrency scam accounts supposedly started making the rounds a few months ago, in effect making it harder to distinguish fraudulent impersonators,
Adding further perceived validity to the scammer’s identity, Musk has previously proposed taking Tesla private – something which he has just now decided against – and the impersonator wrote that a supposed planned restructuring of Tesla in relation to going private would see the addition of Bitcoin and Ethereum payment methods.
Due to Tesla being at the forefront of technology, the idea that Tesla could accept cryptocurrencies has been floated before, and could therefore seem possible for observers – and Toshi Times has even covered an initiative that tried to make this happen.
Musk has previously been the victim of similar cryptocurrency scams, with an impersonator ostensibly promising that it was giving out 4000 ETH to fans in February.
Musk commented on this type of Ethereum scams back in July, apparently being impressed by them and tweeted that he wanted ”to know who is running the Etherium [sic] scambots”, stating that they had ”mad skillz”.
This led Vitalik Buterin to respond to Musk’s tweet, lamenting the fact that the business tycoon’s first mention of Ethereum was in response to scammers rather than the underlying technology of the cryptocurrency, and Buterin subsequently urged Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey to do something about the situation.
However, this most recent cryptocurrency scam in Musk’s Twitter thread would seem to suggest that Twitter did in fact not implement a sufficient solution to the problem.
Cryptocurrency scams would, therefore, seem to be on Twitter to stay for the moment being, and keeping vigilant and extremely suspicious of any and all supposedly ”giving out” cryptocurrency is the best way to keep safe.
Image Source: “Flickr”
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.