Verified Twitter accounts of famous people have been hacked and used in a scam. The Scam Imposed Elon Musk’s face in the hacked accounts and used them to fleece unsuspecting individuals off of their valuables by promising a bitcoin giveaway
British fashion retailer Matalan, film distributor Pathe UK and US publisher Pantheon Books were among those whose accounts were taken over by scam artists.
The Scam used promoted tweets to reach a wider audience. It promised the ‘biggest crypto-giveaway in the world’ which people could benefit from when they sent somewhere around 0.1 – 1(£491-£4,491) bitcoin to them using the link attached. They were promised that they would receive 1- 10 Bitcoins as a result.
— St0rmy 🤨 (@St0rmy95) November 5, 2018
The tweets have since been deleted with many accounts recovered, though some were left blank while waiting for their owners to re-enter their name and profile picture.
The Matalan page looked empty after the hackers’ posts were deleted – though retweeted posts from Musk’s SpaceX company remained
The scammers took over some verified accounts and imposed Elon Musk’s photograph on the profiles, promising Bitcoins – a digital Currency – to supposedly receive more.
It used verified accounts to give the idea of credibility to its claims and promoted the tweets to reach a wider audience.
Several other verified accounts were also hacked into and tweeted in response to tweets advertising Bitcoin giveaways, claiming to have received Bitcoins from Elon Musk
Reactions to the Scam
‘Over 130k made off #bitcoin @elonmusk scam, its actually insane. DONT BE STUPID! IF ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS,’ said one user.
— JoshuaOnSecurity (@JoshOnSecurity) November 6, 2018
Many of the posts still bear the hallmarks of classic scams – including frequent spelling errors and a request for money.
Twitter has recovered the majority of the hacked accounts and has deleted all the tweets.
British fashion retailer Matalan, film distributor Pathe UK and US publisher Pantheon Books were among those whose accounts were reset after the hack.
Pathe UK has since issued a statement to confirm that their account was ‘hacked by an unknown third party.’
The scam is a renewed attempt to cheat people off their monies with a promise of bitcoins. The earlier version of the scam simply sued Elon Musk’s name and likeness to ask for Bitcoin.
Elon Musk was even locked out of his account when he once sent a tweet imitating the manner of the scam asking: ‘Wanna buy some Bitcoin?’
The scam added Twitter’s own verification symbol to introduce more believability to its ploy.
The company ‘has substantially improved how we tackle crypto-currency scams on the platform,’ a Twitter spokesman said.
‘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.’