A coveted blue verified badge is a hot commodity on Twitter in 2018, one that not even Verge, one of the top privacy coins, can obtain. The lead up to a partnership announcement with Pornhub yesterday raised the coin’s profile over the last few weeks, attracting a fraudulent Twitter imposter soliciting crypto from the public.
What’s worse, the fraudulent account has a blue badge and belongs to freelance film producer and director Seif Elsbei (@seifsbei) — all while the real Verge accounts remain unverified, further confusing Twitter users.
Shortly after the scam was noticed by Verge, the real account tweeted:
We are NOT doing any give aways at all, as seen below this tweet. These are scams thst are all over every crypto twitter account. We need @Twitter to start doing human verification immediately!
— vergecurrency (@vergecurrency) April 12, 2018
The imposter account quickly moved on from Verge and started targeting Bitfinex exchange and 4 other cryptocurrencies. To mimic different accounts and retain the blue checkmark, the user keeps their handle @seifsbei the same and simply retweets everything from the victim accounts to confuse followers before tweeting a scam.
The suspect account:
As of November 2017, Twitter Support announced that they are not accepting new public submissions for a badge while they work on a new authentication and verification program.
4 / We're working on a new authentication and verification program. In the meantime, we are not accepting any public submissions for verification and have introduced new guidelines for the program. https://t.co/j6P0HGXIVq
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 15, 2017
Twitter has been at odds with the cryptocurrency community lately, a strange dynamic given co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s bullish attitude towards cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Last month, Twitter announced that it would be banning all crypto ads on the platform, and more recently came under fire for banning the @Bitcoin account, which has since been restored.
The scam is the latest in a long history of Twitter-based cryptocurrency scams that are encouraged by the site’s non-committal attitude toward fixing their verification process. In the last week, we reported a scam account taking advantage of Storm token followers using the Twitter handle, @StormToiken (confusingly similar when the account has the same picture as the actual project). Twitter has yet to take any action against this account known to spam Storm announcements soliciting Ethereum.