So many verified twitter accounts were hacked to impersonate Elon Musk and one has reportedly collected almost $170,000.
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After compromising verified accounts, some fraudsters changed the picture and profile name in order to pretend to be Elon Musk. The scammers post comments under Musk’s tweets to give an impression that they are legitimate.
Some of the tweets stated that the Tesla CEO was conducting a crypto giveaway and provided a link for interested people to participate in the giveaway.
How they avoid detection
Scammers skirt twitter security measures by subtly changing one character in the twitter name. They still maintain the display name as Elon Musk, and this prevents Twitter from flagging it as spam.
The hackers compromised several accounts including those of Frank Pallone Jr, a US politician and Pathe U.K.
The campaign office of Pallone confirmed that the account was compromised. They cited a bitcoin scam.
He also added that one of the bitcoin wallets used to scam unsuspecting people received up to $158,256. Payments were still coming in at that time. The address had a total balance of 26.38 BTC ($168,930).
Also, Pathe U.K confirmed that it recovered its account and had deleted the fake tweets.
Other top individuals in the tech space and the crypto industry have been impersonated as well. In April this year, Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram tweeted a warning to his followers that his app was experiencing downtime because of overheating of its server clusters.
This tweet drew attention to the fake crypto giveaway that scammers planned; they posed as the Telegram CEO and claimed to offer cryptocurrency.
At the beginning of the year, the social media app, Twitter saw an influx of Charlie Lee impersonators. The Litecoin founder was the subject of impersonators who promoted a fake giveaway for Litecoin. Many of the scammers used twitter handles with names that were similar to Charlie Lee’s handle. Some included SatoshiLite, Satoshilitez, and Satoshilitee.
Also, in September, Musk asked the creator of Dogecoin (DOGE), Jackson Palmer to help him get rid of annoying crypto scammers on Twitter. The founder replied to Musk immediately and urged him to reach out using the direct message feature. Later on, Palmer sent a script to Musk to help him solve the problem.