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Twitter Under Heat For Allowing Promotion of Crypto Scams

08 November 2018

After compromising verified accounts, scammers changed the profile name and picture in order to pose as the Tesla CEO. This time, it is not his Twitter account that was compromised, but instead, hackers used verified accounts of other leading companies like UK fashion retailer Matalan, the United States book publisher Pantheon Books, and a filmmaking studio Pathe UK.

The scam used promoted tweets - where Twitter is paid by advertisers to make a tweet appear to a wider audience.

On November 5th, a series of verified Twitter accounts were hacked and shifted into fake accounts representing Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind Boring Co., SpaceX, Tesla, and more.

Often scammers have used other compromised accounts to respond to the initial post, claiming they've received a bitcoin payment in a move created to trick users into thinking the scheme is legitimate. These hacked verified accounts offered live commentary on how the apparent scam was legit and working. The scammers post comments under Musk's tweets to give an impression that they are legitimate. The hackers also updated Pathé's account to impersonate Elon Musk, perhaps in an effort to lend more credibility to the fake giveaway.

A little later, the film company returned access to the account and deleted posts related to the distribution of cryptocurrency.

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That number is high enough that the team would likely either release Bell into free agency or place the transition tag on him. Bell, 26, hasn't played in a single game this season after he was hit with the franchise tag for the second year in a row.

Clicking on any of the links in the scam sends users to a page where they are urged to send anywhere from 0.1-one Bitcoin (£491-£4,491) to the scammers - with the promise that they would receive one-10 Bitcoin as a reward.

Numerous scam tweets still contained the trademark of classic scams, odd grammatical structures, typos, and a request for money from the users before they can receive money themselves.

To recall, this is not the first incident of false cryptocurrency scam taking place via Twitter; back in July this year, similar thing happened to Fox's official Twitter account. These included verified accounts of blogger Sarah Scoop, Swansea City AFC Ladies and boxer Rayton Okwiri. Hence the result is a verified Elon Musk luring normal Twitter users into suspicious schemes.

The hackers compromised several accounts including those of Frank Pallone Jr, a USA politician and Pathe U.K.

A Pathe UK spokesperson told ZDNet that the firm was hacked by "an unknown third party" but that the issue had "now been resolved". The first wave of these scams appeared on March and they have since become so frequent that in October, Elon Musk himself joke tweeted about it, asking "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?"

Twitter Under Heat For Allowing Promotion of Crypto Scams