Twitter cryptocurrency scams are running rampant. On Saturday, Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov, saw his Twitter account impersonated by scammers attempting to solicit cryptocurrency from his over 1.5 million followers.
Initially reported by Medium Blog BlockShow, Durov sent out a Tweet related to the current problems facing the European Telegram servers when shortly after fake Durov accounts began posting a fake giveaway for 5,000 Ethereum (ETH) and 1,000 Bitcoin (BTC). Using the stolen, verified account @club8music, fraudsters posted links to two websites that contained BTC and ETH wallet addresses.
While crypto holders using MetaMask, an extension for accessing Ethereum enabled distributed applications, received a phishing security alert not to interact with the scam addresses, it was seemingly not enough. An analysis of the cryptocurrency addresses used in the scam shows that nearly $40,000 in ETH and nearly $20,000 in BTC was sent by the unexpecting victims, in just a matter of minutes.
Earlier this year, Twitter made the decision to ban cryptocurrency-related advertisements, in an attempt to ‘reduce fraud.’ However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the tech giant has failed to identify the leading cause of fraud on its platform. To make matters worse, Twitter has halted its verification process, leaving few options for legitimate crypto business and influencers to protect themselves and followers.
We've paused public submissions for verification.? https://t.co/0KZd4Kxkp9
— Twitter Verified (@verified) February 26, 2018
Since this announcement, many prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, which are commonly the subjects of massive Twitter scam attempts, have spoken out hoping for verification.
Hi. We've sent and quoted a large number of scams that target our followers because we're a large top 50 blockchain project.
We're asking to be verified to help people avoid being scammed.
Please verify us and check the tweets we've sent you.
— Official Komodo (@KomodoPlatform) March 27, 2018
Reason: Many fake accounts are impersonating our brand KuCoin with the intention of scamming users and people out of money.
— KUCOIN (@kucoincom) March 6, 2018
Further exemplifying the need for a more hands-on approach by Twitter, Seif Elsbei’s verified Twitter account (@seifsbei), which boasts a verified account and over 83,000 followers, was hijacked to pose as the official accounts of six major crypto groups, including the high-profile privacy project Verge and Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex.
These scam events show no sign of slowing, and the crypto community will continue to wait for a fair solution to promote a safer environment for all users on Twitter’s platform. Until that time, users must be extra vigilant and scrutinous when assessing any crypto-related post.