The cyber-world has been facing threats and attacks for a long time. Not to mention, the cryptocurrency industry has been affected by major scams in recent years.
In 2019, CipherTrace reported that a whopping $4.6 billion was stolen from cryptocurrency users and exchange platforms. Notably, $28 million was stolen from the popular crypto exchange, Bitpoint in July 2019. Also, Binance lost $40 million to cybercriminals in May 2019.
Recently, what might be the biggest ever bitcoin scam on social media happened. Hackers launched a cooperative bitcoin scam on Twitter after the accounts of top celebrities were hacked.
Bitcoin is not yet accepted by many countries because not everyone buys the idea of a digital currency and blockchain technology. Most crypto-unfriendly countries argue that it is used for illicit activities and a major scam like this would fuel the critics even more. You would agree that those pioneering the agenda against the legality of the bitcoin just scored a major point.
For insiders, the crypto community, what does it mean? Let’s first look at what happened.
2020 Twitter-Bitcoin Scam – What Happened?
The 2020 Twitter bitcoin scam happened on the 15th of July, 2020. Hackers got control of Twitter accounts belonging to top figures and celebrities, all of which were verified and with over a million followers. Series of tweets were released asking followers to transfer bitcoin to a specified bitcoin wallet promising that they will get back double of its value.
The first major accounts to tweet this scam was Binance, CoinDesk, and Coinbase. There was no way many crypto users were not going to fall for this, we’re talking about top companies in the cryptocurrency sphere.
Next, the scam tweets were posted from Twitter accounts belonging to Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates. These are the world’s richest men and huge influencers.
Accounts of political figures like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and celebrities like Kanye West, Floyd Mayweather, and Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately, companies were not left out. For instance, Apple, Cash App, and Uber had their official accounts compromised too.
The hackers managed to cart away with bitcoins worth over $100,000 with more than 400 transactions. Considering the weight of the individuals and companies whose accounts were used to carry out this bitcoin scam, the blame should be far from the victims.
Jeff Bezos is worth over $100 billion, believing he can double $1,000 worth of bitcoin is easier than not. You can say the same for Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, and other top figures worth millions/billions of dollars. The question is, how did the hackers gain access to such major accounts?
Reports show that it was an inside job as the hackers had access to Twitter’s administrative tools. There are two possibilities; a Twitter employee’s account was compromised or he/she was paid to grant access to the scammers.
What Does The 2020 Twitter- Bitcoin Scam Mean To The Crypto Community?
For crypto users, it is imperative to be wary of bitcoin scams. Falling for public social media scams is uncommon because they are easy to identify. However, when you’re being convinced by the world’s richest men, top figures, and companies, it’s hard not to fall.
Victims can only wait until the investigations are completed if there’s any chance of getting their money back. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies are currently working on the matter.
The financial impact of this scam is relatively small and the bitcoin market cap wasn’t much affected despite the fact that Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms for crypto enthusiasts.
Nonetheless, this recent Bitcoin scam has revealed that social media platforms can be totally compromised, which places users at risk. It is best that crypto users are more alert now than before. Moreover, online scams can occur on any platform, even the most believable.
As a crypto user, you should be cautious of schemes such as free giveaways, prize giveaways, Ponzi, pyramid schemes. Though some free giveaways or prize giveaways can be legit, the majority of them are fraudulent especially when it involves that you make the first payment. Also, avoid storing private information on social media.
Bitcoin scams are strongly against the Twitter financial scam policy. In fact, Twitter revealed that this scam was made possible via social engineering as the hackers had targeted employees and successfully gained access to their systems.
Although the impact of the 2020 Twitter-Bitcoin scam may be small on the bitcoin market cap; however, for the victims, it’s a sad tale. In fact, it also revealed Twitter’s security flaw, which has resulted in the decline of its stock price.
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