It was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about another Bitcoin scam involving Elon Musk. In the original version of the Elon Musk Twitter scam about which I reported to you earlier this year a Twitter thread started by the real 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 and is missing the letter “u.” The Tweet states, “I’m donating 20 Bitcoin to everyone who sends .02 BTC 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 who fell for this scam sent in a 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. In the more recent version of this scam cybercriminals hacked into accounts already verified by Twitter and changed the name and picture to make it appear as if the account was that of Elon Musk. They then used these accounts that appear legitimate to perpetrate the same Bitcoin scam. In addition, the scammers even a promoted the phony tweets by using Twitter’s ad services to enable them to have their tweets inserted into the timelines of Twitter users. While Twitter is attempting to identify these phony accounts and shut them down, they continue to be a problem.

Now in the latest version of the scam which takes advantage of the public’s fascination with Bitcoin, Scammers hacked and took control of the Twitter accounts of Target and Google’s G Suite to send out tweets offering free Bitcoins in promotions that appear to be sponsored by Target and Google’s G Suite. The tweet which actually comes from the real Target Twitter account tells you that the company is giving away free Bitcoins to celebrate Target’s recent acceptance of Bitcoins for payment. Of course there is a catch and you have to send in some Bitcoin in order to get the “free Bitcoins” which never come.


If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. These scams are really just another incarnation of the Nigerian email scam. No one and no company is giving away a lot of Bitcoins in return for paying them a few Bitcoins. Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Even if the offer, as in this case, comes from the legitimate Twitter account of Target or any other legitimate company, you should merely assume that they have been hacked.

Whenever you see one of these free giveaways appear in social media be a little skeptical and don’t provide any personal information. Certainly don’t give away any credit card information and don’t click on unverified links.

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