Another Elon Musk bitcoin scam dupes Twitter


If you were on Twitter early this morning, chances are you stumbled across a promoted tweet from a verified Twitter account posing as Elon Musk. The account “capgemini_aust” claimed it was Musk’s “official promo account” and shared a post stating that he “left the post of director of Tesla” and “decided to make the biggest crypto-giveaway in the world, for all my readers who use Bitcoin.”

Suffice to say, Musk didn’t actually step down from Tesla, nor did he start a Bitcoin giveaway for his followers. But the tweet quickly went viral as users began seeing it in their timelines as a promoted tweet, causing more confusion over whether the scam was legitimate or not.

IT consulting company Capgemini Australia’s Twitter account was supposedly hacked and transformed into a fake Elon Musk account early this morning. The account retweeted posts from Tesla and Musk’s personal Twitter account, acting as if Musk actually tweeted from the Capgemini account. Afterward, the account shared the giveaway, which promised 5 BTC to every Twitter user that sent 0.5 BTC over to a mysterious payment address. For the record, that’s approximately $31,904.05 worth in Bitcoin for every $3,190.41 sent over, based on today’s opening price for Bitcoin.

Of course, you won’t receive a cent in return. In fact, this tactic isn’t anything new. Last week, Pantheon Books’ verified Twitter account was also hacked, turned into a Musk lookalike, and posted a similar message promising free Bitcoins to users who donate 0.1 BTC to a payment address, the Independent reports. That tweet was also promoted, with over 400 people losing money to the scammer.

Like last week’s incident, today’s truly went viral after Twitter users started seeing the fake tweet pop up in their timeline as a promoted tweet. Promoted tweets are special tweets purchased by advertisers, which are then shown to specific users based on whether its content “is likely to be interesting and relevant to that user.” It’s easy to see how Twitter users would fall for it—with the verified check mark, Musk’s profile picture, and a promotion broadcasted by Twitter, it looks like the real Musk created the “giveaway.”

Other verified Twitter accounts were supposedly hacked, too, and tweeting at Musk as if they had received Bitcoins from him.

Users also wonder why Twitter continues to have this problem with Bitcoin scammers taking over verified Twitter accounts. If the website keeps promoting phishing attempts, it will only decrease the credibility behind promoted tweets and verified accounts.

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Cryptocurrency scammers have posed as Musk for quite some time, with the problem going as far back as this past February. After fake Musk accounts posted scams promising Ethereum, Musk publicly called them out, suggesting the scammers have “mad skillz.”

Musk even joked about the scams late last month after he went on an anime-inspired Twitter spree.

The Daily Dot reached out to Musk, Twitter, and Capgemini, but did not receive a response.

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