Elon Musk has been going around distributing bitcoins for a small return. When you look at the promoted tweet, you feel like you have hit the jackpot. But, it’s never sunshine and rainbows.
This Ponzi scheme has been around for weeks and goes by the name of Elon Musk. It asks people to send in a tiny piece of bitcoin and promises to return it in ten folds.
Question is; why would someone fall for this? And why are they posing as Elon Musk? Why is Twitter doing nothing about it?
We’d say that you must be highly foolish to believe any of this but sadly, people do give in to these payment scams. And, though Twitter should be able to put an end to this, the simple looking scam is hard to identify.
However, the hackers have adopted a pattern.
Step 1: They would take over a verified account.
Step 2: Change the name to Elon Musk
Step 3: Change the avatar to his photo
Step 4: Tweet about the scam
Step 5: Pay to promote it as much as you can
This simple five-step guide has been done so many times now that people have somewhat started identifying a pattern.
One of the first accounts to be hacked was of Food Network host Tyler Florence. A few weeks later, similar tweets were sent from Matalan, Pantheon Book and others. Even Target played Elon Musk for a day and promised to give generous donations!
The funny bit is that there aren’t any modifications every time the hackers tweet from a different account, they even promise the same number of bitcoins! It always says and we quote:
“I’m giving 5 000 Bitcoin (BTC) to all community!”, reads the tweet promoted from Florence’s account. “I decided to make the biggest crypto-giveaway in the world, for all my readers who use Bitcoin. I left the post of director of Tesla, thank you all for your support!”
Twitter has been trying to crack down on bitcoin scams promoted under the name of Elon Musk. Elon Musk, himself, got caught in the crossfire when he jokingly tweeted about giving away bitcoins, temporarily banning his account.
The hackers are keeping Twitter on its toes as the seemingly simple tweets are not that easily detectable. They use white space in a different way, or character that may not be ASCII characters but maybe a unicode. It may look regular to the human eye but they have been coded differently to make them difficult to be traced.
But the issue cannot be taken lightly as many people have been roped into this scam. The poorly written tweets are not a giveaway for some people either.
Why Elon Musk?
Out of the whole celebrities realm, why have they decided to use Elon’s name? Well, Elon Musk’s recent stunt of smoking a joint on camera, getting in trouble with the SEC, has made him an ideal candidate for the campaign.
So, while the innocent looking tweet that has many fooled, scams people, Twitter is struggling to take them down. They have employed sophisticated psychology and trickery to avoid all traps.
With that said, no matter how complex these tweets get, if you run a verified account make sure it is protected by two-factor authentication and if you have bitcoin, rest assured the world is too nice to be giving them out for free.