Yerevan (CoinChapter.com) — Using verified Twitter accounts, expert scammers stole nearly 300K crypto from gullible investors. The incident occurred following Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL). The Tesla founder appeared on Saturday Night Live with his mother, where he promoted his favorite cryptocurrency, Dogecoin.
Musk’s mother was a good sport on stage. She joked on the popular show that she hoped her Mother’s Day gift from her son would not be Dogecoin. “It is,” Musk confirmed. However, this small promotion by the mother-son duo did not deliver what most Dogecoin investors had hoped it would.
Scammers See Opportunity in Plummeting Dogecoin
Following Elon Musk’s appearance, the meme-based coin registered a dip in its spot rate.
However, scammers were undeterred by the plummetting Dogecoin prices. They saw in it the opportunity to use Musk as bait for a con. They used at least 20 verified Twitter accounts to dupe newbie investors by promising them free cryptocurrencies.
Among the list of such verified profiles was the official Twitter account of the Government of Northern Macedonia. Twitter later reinstated the hacked account.
Another verified account is being used to spread Tesla / Musk themed scam: https://t.co/wAk0apsIks— MalwareHunterTeam (@malwrhunterteam) May 11, 2021
"Official Twitter account of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia."
What's more Twitter wants to start caring?
cc @zseano @DanielGallagher @BleepinComputer pic.twitter.com/F3f01dOXnH
Crypto Scams In Recent History
Scams involving cryptocurrencies are not unheard of and have started becoming worryingly commonplace.
In 2020, online criminals hacked the Twitter accounts of Kanye West, Elon Musk, and several other individuals and companies. In similar cases, the accounts of Kim Kardashian, Apple, and Uber were also compromised. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, US President Barack Obama, and Joe Biden also fell victims to identity theft incidents.
Hackers used multiple verified accounts while offering to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to a Bitcoin address.
Because the hacked profiles look genuine and have the blue Twitter verification tick, people are more likely to think the giveaways are genuine.
According to a report released by blockchain tracking and analytics provider WhaleAlert, scammed had bagged $24 million in Bitcoin in the first six months of 2020.
In Mach of 2021, UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), reported $34 million worth of losses from dubious online trading platforms. The vast majority (81%) were due to cryptocurrency scams.
Despite regular warnings by state authorities and financial watchdogs, hackers implement old tricks to scam unsuspecting investors.