It looks like those rich Nigerian prince scams have moved into a different setting, that of cryptocurrencies. Have you come across those tweets from notable figures like Elon Musk, Vitalik Buterin, Donald Trump, and others asking you to send them crypto, thus entitling you to a potential certain amount of cryptocurrency?
Beware. Be very aware.
It seems that there are some members of the crypto community who are falling for these tweets sent from strange variations of Twitter account handles. An example of a variation on a twitter account would be @DoonaldTrump65, whereas the President of the United States of America, has a real twitter handle that goes by @realDonaldTrump.
These scammers are creating accounts that resemble the twitter accounts of notable figures in the general tech, business and cryptocurrency space and are capitalizing on the cryptocurrency craze bring in the money.
The orchestrators of these scams have taken their level of scamming into the new era in more efficient and streamlined manner. They use a group of bots to automate this scamming process.
The message will usually be similar to this one a fake Vitalik Buterin account, @VitalickButter, tweeted in reply to the Ethereum founder’s real Twitter account:
“I’m donating 400 Ethereum to the ETH community! First 250 transactions with 0.2 ETH sent to the address below will receive 2.0 ETH in the address the 0.2 ETH came from.”
The tweets will contain an the cryptographic wallet address where the ether or Bitcoin will have be to sent. According to Buzzfeed, they have uncovered more than 25 twitter accounts that are engaged in these sorts of activities.
It is important to note that this scam is not exclusive to Twitter and can take place on other social media platforms as well. It may seem to have a larger presence on Twitter because one can easily create an account that is more anonymous in nature.
How does the crypto scam work?
According to Buzzfeed, the scam works in this manner. Fake accounts of prominent individuals in the tech, business, and political realms are created. After creation, these accounts go straight into the activity of tweeting on posts that were made by the actual twitter account, meaning, if Donald Trump tweets something out, the fake account would reply to the tweet with their scam. Bots then get to work and retweet and give legitimacy to the scam account, luring in potential marks, the ether or bitcoin is sent over from several accounts and so concludes the swindle.
Vitalik Buterin’s Comments
Vitalik sent a rather vague tweet the other day, stating that “if you send me 0.1 ETH, I will send you nothing, because I am too lazy.”
Twitter addresses the matter
A representative of the social media platform has addressed the ongoing scams and have noted that they are aware of these tweets and are actively monitoring and eliminating as necessary.
“We’re aware of this form of manipulation and are proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner.”
It seems that these accounts are growing at a much faster rate due to it simple and easy replication and deployment.
Stay away from these accounts!