In my Scam of the Day for February 14th, I warned you about a new Bitcoin related scam that recently starting appearing on Twitter. Legitimate tweets of prominent business leaders such as Elon Musk, John McAfee or Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the cybercurrency Ethereum are responded to by cybercriminals with Twitter accounts that create the appearance that they are part of the thread started by the famous person.
In one of these scams presently circulating a thread started by Elon Musk using his Twitter handle of @elonmusk is responded to by someone using the handle of @ElonMsk, which also carries a photo of Elon Musk. Someone looking at it quickly may not recognize that it is not the Twitter handle of Elon Musk. The Tweet states, “I’m donating 20 Bitcoin to everyone who sends .02 to the address below. First 40 transactions with 0.02 BTC sent to the address below will each receive 0.5 BTC to the address the 0.02 BTC came from.”
People are falling for this scam and sending in the few Bitcoins in an attempt to receive more in return. Although Twitter is shutting down these scammers when they become aware of the scams, it takes little time for the scammers to start the scam again using the name of another celebrity.
Following last week’s Academy Awards, in which Jordan Peele won an Oscar for best Original Screenplay, he tweeted “I just won an Oscar. WTF?!” Immediately there was a response to his tweet from the Twitter account “@JordanPeele___” that read “Love you guys, heres a gift from me” with a link to a gift card scam. Jordan Peele’s real Twitter account is “JordanPeele,” but it is easy to see how someone not looking closely could mistake the tweet from the scammer as being from the real Jordan Peele. This scam, has been used, as I indicated in my February 14th Scam of the Day against Elon Musk, but it has also been used to scam followers of Khloe Kardashian and Ellen DeGeneres recently, as well.
In regard to the Elon Musk phony tweet, it is important to remember if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. This scam is really just another incarnation of the Nigerian email scam. No one is giving anyone 20 Bitcoins in return for .02 Bitcoins. Elon Musk, John McAffee, Vitalik Buterin and other well known people are not giving away Bitcoins in return for paying them fewer Bitcoins. Always look carefully at Twitter threads when responding. As for the Jordan Peele Twitter scam and similar scams playing off of the tweets of various celebrities, you should always look closely at a tweet before responding, particularly if it leads you to some sort of prize or gift.
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