A recent MailGuard report warns against cryptocurrency scams on Twitter.
The persistent rise of cryptocurrency is changing the internet in a variety of ways, and although its relatively early days there has already been some high profile cryptocurrency fraud incidents.
Over the last 12 months or so, there has been a growing number of crypto scams appearing on Twitter. Scammers tweet something like ‘Bitcoin giveaway’ or ‘free crypto’ and promise that if you send them a small fraction of a coin to verify your account, they will send back 10 times as much.
The scammers are impersonating the Twitter accounts of high profile cryptocurrency influencers to gain people’s trust. Crypto is a small world, but there are some well-known influencers and founders who have a lot of sway in the online community.
Recently, a scammer using the Twitter handle @lisa_jones4810 set up a hoax account mimicking Litecoin luminary Charlie Lee and started offering free coins. If you’re in the crypto-sphere, this is like someone impersonating Elon Musk and promising to send you a free Tesla if you put $50 in his bank account. It’s the same kind of phycological trickery that scammer use when they send out fake Netflix invoices; big names inspire trust.
A savvy self-styled ‘crypto hygienist’ going by @djbooth007 has made an ‘anti-bot bot’ which is now automatically replying to ‘free crypto’ tweets with a huge banner proclaiming ‘that tweet is a scam!’. New technology creates opportunities for criminals, but fortunately there are also cybercrime-fighters looking out for scams and fighting back.