Scammers have swarmed Twitter in recent weeks in an attempt to trick people out of their hard-earned cryptocurrency, and as a particular tweet today makes clear they’re having a lot of success.
The scam itself is incredibly simple, and starts with someone famous tweeting out some random statement. Like this, for example:
Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2018
That’s when the scammers come in. Someone, with a Twitter account designed to mimic the famous person’s, posts a reply promising free bitcoin, ether, or some other cryptocurrency. All you supposedly need to do to be on the receiving end of this potential bonanza is send a little ether to a provided address.
See where this is going?
“To celebrate this, I’m giving awaу 5,000 ЕTH to my followers,” reads once such reply from @elonlmusk (notice the extra “L”). “To pаrtiсipаte, just sеnd 0.5-1 ЕTH to the address bеlow and gеt 5-10 ЕTH back to the address you used for the transaсtion.”
To celebrate this, I’m giving awaу 5,000 ЕTH to my followers!
To pаrtiсipаte, just sеnd 0.5-1 ЕTH to the address bеlow and gеt 5-10 ЕTH back to the address you used for the transaсtion.
ЕТH Аddress: https://t.co/V6eT67znml
If you are latе, yоur EТH will bе sent back.
— Еlon Мusk (@eIonlmusk) February 21, 2018
Clicking through the link takes you to a page that makes it look like ether is indeed being sent out. Spoiler: It’s not. That page is fake.
To make things even more confusing, the person behind the grift looks to have set up fake Twitter accounts to attest to the legitimacy of the con. The account @GaryPet70008539, for example, was created in January of this year and has only tweeted once.
Thank you sо much Elon! Just sent 0.4 EТН and got 4 EТН within 6 minutes! 👏🏻
You’re a great person! Keep it up!
— Gary Peters (@GaryPet70008539) February 21, 2018
The account @MattMar46412834 was also set up in January, and has also only tweeted once.
If you take the time to copy and paste the receiving ETH address into a legit service, like Etherscan, you are greeted with a very different picture. Specifically, one that shows no outgoing transactions and a whole lot of incoming.
At the time of this writing there are almost 20 ETH in that account for a value of around $16,424. In other words, people are falling for this. Please don’t be one of those people.
After all, while some fanboys like to call Elon Musk the real-life Tony Stark, Iron Man wasn’t exactly known for randomly giving away cryptocurrency on the internet.