Twitter has become somewhat of a hub for cryptocurrency scams. With more and more fake accounts being created to mimic the identity of legitimate Twitter pages, we are seeing more and more vulnerable people falling for Twitter scams that often appear too good to be true.
In such scams, fake pages will claim to be giving away mass amounts of cryptocurrency in airdrops, in ICOs and in other well masked scams. WIthin this, to participate, generally you are asked to donate a small amount of cryptocurrency to a wallet address, then, eventually you will see a reward of 100%, 200% etc. Or words to that effect at least.
The easy way to see if something is a scam? Check the Twitter handle to ensure the account is real. Is the account verified? Moreover, is there another account on Twitter that explicitly states the team in question ARE NOT doing any coin giveaways?
The latter point, is often the easiest to find.
Bloomberg reporters Olga Kharif and Lily Katz have now been brought into this culture, through the establishment of fake Twitter accounts set up in their name, claiming to be giving cryptocurrency away. According to Bloomberg:
“If you wanted proof that crypto scams have gone mainstream, look no further than our Twitter accounts, @LilyKatz and @olgakharif. During the first three weeks of May, fraudsters copied our pages, including profile photos, to push Ether swindles onto our 17,000 collective followers. And in spite of multiple requests to Twitter Inc. to have them removed, at least one of our doppelgängers—and a host of other bot-driven fakes targeting individuals and companies—are still out there offering unbelievable deals.”
This idea that cryptocurrency scamming has gone mainstream is most concerning. Consider this, with many people unaware of cryptocurrencies, you can assume that most of these people will be unaware of scams and how to detect them. By seeping into the mainstream, scammers will catch more and more unsuspecting people out and let’s face it, it’s easy to sympathise with these people, if you had no idea about cryptocurrencies, but somebody offered you a convincing and life changing cryptocurrency investment route, you’d probably just go for it. Scammers pry on the vulnerable, those who are more likely to exhibit risk taking behaviour.
The Bloomberg article continues:
“Twitter says it’s aware of the problem and is working on fixes, according to an email from a spokesman. Over the past few months the company has cracked down on bots by limiting users’ ability to perform coordinated posts across multiple accounts, which could mean a bot is at work.”
See the full article, including an account from Kharif and Katz for yourself, here- https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-23/crypto-scammers-hijacked-our-twitter-profiles-to-get-ether-coins
Above all, this provides a stark reminder of just how easy it is to set up a scam and likewise, just how easy it is to fall for one. Please remember, do your research and chances are, you’ll never fall victim to such crime. If you do, report it. At the least, you can make sure other people learn from your mistakes.