Malware hunters have warned there’s been a massive uptick of verified Twitter accounts that have been hacked and taken over by a crypto giveaway scam featuring Elon Musk.
According to MalwareHunterTeam, fraudsters are targeting high-profile accounts that have a blue tick. Then, the scammers use these profiles to reply to tweets and promote a website that falsely claims Tesla’s CEO is offering Bitcoin and Ether for free.
In common with other scams, victims are told to send funds to a specific payment address — and if they do, they’re promised they’ll revive twice as much back.
“To verify your address, just send from 0.05 to 20 BTC to the address below and get from 0.1 to 40 BTC back,” the scam site says.
Musk isn’t the only one who has been targeted recently. Other high-profile crypto personalities, including Tyler Winklevoss, have also been chosen as figureheads without their consent or involvement.
According to BleepingComputer, which spoke to MalwareHunterTeam, the scammers have managed to earn more than $587,000 in Bitcoin to date.
Crypto scams have become commonplace on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as video-sharing sites like YouTube. In recent months, it’s seemed like these tech giants have struggled to take action — with Twitter itself falling victim to a high-profile hack last summer.
Some high-profile individuals, such as the British journalist Martin Lewis, have taken legal action against these platforms — holding them responsible for failing to take the scams down.
But in a recent lawsuit filed by Ripple against YouTube, the Google-owned platform said that it cannot be held responsible for the content that’s published on its site under U.S. law.
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