Tuesday November 06, 2018

Scammers Mimic Elon Musk on High Profile Twitter Accounts

According to a BBC report, scammers who hacked their way into several high profile Twitter accounts used Musk's likeness to scam people out of some Bitcoin. High profile accounts like Matlan, Pathe UK, and Pantheon Books had their handles and profile images changed to resemble Elon Musk or SpaceX, and the accounts' many followers were directed to a site that asked for 0.1 BTC, with a promise that they would receive 10 bitcoin (which, as of this moment, would be worth over $60,000). The Telegraph seems to think the scammers got away with about 150,000 USD. This isn't the first Elon Musk Twitter scam, and it likely won't be the last.

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An early form of the scam was first spotted in March when accounts appeared simply using Mr Musk's name and likeness to ask for Bitcoin. It became so frequent on the social network that the Tesla chief was briefly blocked from his own Twitter account after he parodied the scam by sending a tweet asking: "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?". Now the scam has become more nuanced as it uses Twitter's own verification to make it more convincing. A Twitter spokesperson told the BBC that the company has "substantially improved how we tackle crypto-currency scams on the platform". "In recent weeks, user impressions have fallen by a multiple of 10 as we continue to invest in more proactive tools to detect spammy and malicious activity."