Twitter has become a target for online crooks promoting fake “giveaways”, according to Bleeping Computer. Such activities are estimated to have tricked people out of ETH 8,148, currently worth around USD 4.3 million, much of it through social media, according to statistical data compiled in EtherScamDB.
John Backus, co-founder of crypto-related startups Bloom and Cognito, concurs, making his own “back of an envelope” calculation that ETH scam giveaways have returned around ETH 8,148 – which happens to be exactly the same amount estimated by EtherScamDB, writes Bitcoin.com.
EtherScamDB tracks online scamming which centers round Ethereum and associated assets and was established by the team behind MyCrypto wallet.
As the figures illustrate, fake Ether giveaways are growing exponentially, and Twitter has become one of the scammers’ favorite utilities. Criminals use well-known ecosystem names to target Twitter members, using mirrored accounts complete with avatars. Posts invite targets from the fake personalities’ following to participate in free crypto programs, which then separate the target from their funds.
An example of how the scammers operate is best illustrated by Forbes writer Laura Shin’s recent experiences on Twitter, covered in an article on Bitcoin.com, when she came across an interesting Tweet by Ari Paul, investor guru of Blocktower hedge fund fame.
She came across “fairly elaborate ether (ETH) come-ons, fake giveaways using mirror’d (sic) accounts” as a result. No sooner than she realized this, she discovered that she had been compromised.
“Someone with the account @XaedenJ was using Ms Shin’s professional reputation and likeness to tacitly approve a 10,000 Ethereum giveaway, and it directs readers to a website asking for payment,” read the report.
The “new” Laura Shin was then seen to be Tweeting, “If you’re late for this event… you’ll get your investment back at once!”. The Forbes writer did some further research and discovered that her scam post had received 28 likes, although Shin suggested that they were probably bots created to give the scam some credibility. The @XaedenJ address was later removed by Twitter.
In order to prevent such activities and falling foul to such scams, MyCrypto wrote a support document that recommends several protective measures including using hardware wallets, using cold storage or running wallets offline. It also recommends looking up ETH addresses on Etherscan.io to check for bad reviews, and to not trust any messages promising free ETH or hack alerts.
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