Twitter’s Verified Account Bitcoin Scam Hits India, Even As ‘Scam Hunter’ Arrives to Catch Bots


The declining value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has not stopped scammers from impersonating famous personalities or taking over verified accounts on Twitter. These scams have been ongoing for months and are most evident with every tweet from Elon Musk. But despite the social media company’s promise to take care of them. Now, these scammers are targeting verified accounts, those with the coveted blue tick to spread the fraud.

Last week, scammers alleged to be Tesla CEO Elon Musk by sabotaging verified accounts of Matalan and Pantheon Books. While this week, two more accounts that were targeted include those of a UK-based apparels brand Farah, and the Australian division of consulting firm Capgemini.

These scammers follow a particular pattern and are very easy to spot. The sabotaged accounts usually ask users to send small amounts of cryptocurrencies in exchange for a bigger reward as part of a giveaway. Twitter who reported that the platform had improved its ways of handling these scams related to cryptocurrencies and is trying its best to curb their reach to people.

The account of Indian B2B marketplace IndiaMART was also seen sending out these deceiving tweet. The company’s account was hacked, and the scammers managed to post a few bit-coin related tweets before the offended posts were taken off.

One of the most standard methods of breaking into verified accounts is credential surfing in which earlier leaked passwords are automatically used in multiple attempts to break through verified accounts. Twitter has urged its users to use the two-factor authentication (2FA) to prevent such intrusions.

Some of the victims of this scam in the past few months include Ben Allen, the state senator from California and Israeli politician Rachel Azaria. The Indian National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also fell victim to these scammer robots.

To battle this issue, renowned French ethical hacker who goes by the alias Elliot Alderson created a bot to report any sight of cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter.

The admins of respective official accounts have now removed many of these tweets. But Twitter still needs stronger algorithms especially because its CEO Jack Dorsey thinks that Bitcoin will be the outermost currency in the coming decade.

If you own a verified account, it’s advisable that you turn on the two-factor authentication (2FA), even if that includes a few more steps before you can tweet about how hectic and frustrating your day is. As users or even crypto enthusiasts, be wary of such scams that will lure you to easy ways of making money.

Meanwhile, this Uber investor has a more straightforward and easier solution to implement.

Where such tactics will yield good fruits or not, depends on whether Twitter will go ahead and put up barriers. However, because of that, the company is looking for significant user growth after a disappointing quarter, where it cleared out a lot of fake accounts.


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