Over the last two years, cryptocurrency scamming on social media has been prevalent. In January 2019, it was reported that crypto impersonation scams on Twitter raked in millions in cryptocurrencies from people pretending to be well known blockchain personalities. Now a new form of deception can be seen on the platform, as scammers are using photoshopped pictures of tech personalities and businesses like Coinbase to further another crypto con game.
There’s a New Crypto Scam on Twitter
There’s a new swindle on crypto Twitter where scammers are sharing screenshots of well known cryptocurrency and tech luminaries promoting supposed BTC giveaways. Typically these fraudsters will use a very popular post with hundreds or thousands of likes and type the phrase “Great News.” Underneath the user’s text is a photoshopped picture of an announcement from Coinbase saying that it’s offering a BTC giveaway. The tweets are a blatant scam in order to con a person into believing they can “double” their coins. For instance, on August 12, Morgan Creek cofounder Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano tweeted his usual weekly investors’ letter where people can sign up and get regular emails from Pomp. Just below Pomp’s tweet is a Twitter account called “Adam[BTC/HODL]” who states: “Thanks Coinbase I just received 1.90680 BTC — Anyone can join, not much left.” Below that statement is a photoshopped picture of a faked Coinbase account stating:
To celebrate 50 million users, we decided to host a 5,000 BTC giveaway event — You can use any wallet or exchange to participate. Visit our promotion site — If you are late, your BTC will be sent back, thank you for your support, Coinbase team.
Below the tweet, another scam Twitter account adds to the con game by saying they got some coins from the giveaway. “OMG — Just got 2 BTC, thanks for sharing this,” the user “Sierra” exclaims while 59 people have liked her tweet. Another fake account dubbed “Charrlees Hooskiinson” can be seen tweeting the same scam in a real Twitter thread started by Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson. The picture shared, in this case, is a photo of a phony Elon Musk account which says: “Our marketing department here at Tesla HQ came up with an idea — to hold a special BTC and ETH giveaway event for all the crypto fans out there.” Just like the bogus Coinbase account picture, the fake Musk account shows a website to visit where people can allegedly double their coins.
Impersonating Prominent Crypto and Tech Influencers and a Phony Block Explorer
While investigating the first fraudulent website tied to these scams, visitors can see a Coinbase logo and a message geared toward new guests. The site says that if a person sends 0.1 to 10 BTC to the address they will receive a whopping 1-100 BTC in return. Below that is a BTC address the person can send funds to, which has also changed regularly since news.Bitcoin.com started this investigation.
The current address displayed on the scam giveaway site today has zero BTC and no transactions tied to the address have ever been recorded. But the website’s visitors get a different look as there’s a dummy block explorer shown on the website aiming to bolster the claim that people are really doubling their money. Watching the fake explorer shows someone just deposited 8 BTC and got 88 BTC sent back to the original address, but on a real block explorer, these transactions don’t exist.
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, is also targeted in the fraudulent Twitter act as photoshopped pictures show another BTC doubling scam. The con is done in the same way as the Coinbase example. Some random Twitter account shares a fake picture and underneath another phony account someone says they were just awarded a couple of BTC. The website in the photo leads to a fake Tesla page too that is almost exactly the same as the Coinbase version, but it’s red with a Tesla logo. Just like the last one, there’s another deceptive block explorer showing fictitious BTC transactions. There’s also a progress bar showing how much BTC is left in the so-called doubling pot and the longer you stay on the website it makes it seem like you’re missing out on a lot of BTC.
Twitter Scammers Continue to Make Millions of Dollars From Crypto Newbs
It’s uncertain whether Twitter is aware of the latest scam revolving around the crypto Twitter space. Last year, researchers uncovered empirical data which confirmed 15,000 cryptocurrency scam accounts were strewn across the Twittersphere. In February, social media cryptocurrency community member impersonators were making $5,000 a day in ethereum on Twitter. One particular person sent $18,000 to a fake Erik Voorhees account. In March 2018, the well known crypto influencer Emin Gun Sirer told Twitter owner Jack Dorsey that the scams were getting out of hand, adding that if he “can’t detect this kind of brazen scam, what hope do you have of improving your platform?” Dorsey did respond to Sirer’s post that day and said: “We are on it.”
But the scam tweets have continued relentlessly and people are still complaining to Twitter every day about this obvious con. “People do not tweet out that they are giving away money for free — That is a complete scam — The old saying is true ‘if it seems too good to be true it probably is.’ There is a Bill Pulte investor in the cryptocurrency space that is promising to give away money — Twitter needs to investigate,” one person wrote on Monday. Another person tweeted: “This person has been creating accounts all over Twitter, trying to scam people out of crypto. Accounts keep cropping up replying to tweets from prominent people in the community — It’s a scam.” By the look of some of crypto Twitter’s most popular posts today, it seems the company still hasn’t received the message.
What do you think of the latest crypto Twitter scammers who use photoshopped pictures to promote their con game? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence concerning the aforementioned scams and websites. Bitcoin.com or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, company, software or any activities mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Twitter, and screenshots taken by Jamie Redman.
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