Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Elon Musk Bitcoin Scammers Hijack Verified Status Accounts

Elon Musk Bitcoin Scammers Hijack Verified Status Accounts

Cryptocurrency scammers are pretending to be Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, and some of their tweets are being promoted onto timelines through Twitter's ad service. "Elon, you are the best person I have ever seen in my life", another said, likely responding to one of the many fake Elon Musk accounts propagating malicious giveaway links.

To dupe users out of their cryptocurrency, the hackers promise to double the investment of anyone who sends a small amount of Bitcoin to their wallet.

Adding further layers to the scam, a number of other hacked verified accounts falsely backed up the claim that they had received bitcoin from Musk.

"The nature of this scam brings to light some seemingly obvious issues with Twitter's verified account system".

By using accounts with Twitter's own verification mark (a blue tick), it makes the account appear legitimate at first glance and thus may fool the reader into thinking it is official. Several users tried to alert the community by posting tweets. Pantheon Books' Twitter account was also taken over by an Elon Musk impersonator.

Screenshot of compromised Pathe UK account.

Clicking on the scams prompts the users to give anywhere from 0.1 to 1 Bitcoin to get 10 Bitcoin in return.

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The practice screams "it's a scam", as it is asking for money to be sent, and is also littered with spelling mistakes.

According to Business Insider, while Twitter has previously attempted to stop impersonation scams, the hackers have managed to promote their tweets and capitalize on the cryptocurrency frenzy.

For example, the above tweet would appear to have been praised by verified accounts like boxer Rayton Okwiri, blogger Sarah Scoop, and Swansea City AFC Ladies.

The hackers compromised several accounts including those of Frank Pallone Jr, a USA politician and Pathe U.K.

The Pathe UK Twitter account was hacked this morning by an unknown third party. And, just a few weeks ago, he found himself temporarily silenced on the platform for tweeting, "Wanna buy some bitcoin?", with Twitter believing his account to have been hacked.

Celebrities who have had their names used in these scams have complained about it, urging Twitter to take more serious steps to tackle the problem. Pathé, the world's second oldest operating film company and Europe's second largest studio, was also hacked and had a crypto scam under the name of Elon Musk posted on its account, but it seems that they were able to reclaim the account and delete the tweet.

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