Fake Elon Musk Twitter accounts promote Bitcoin scams raising $170,000

Clothes retailer Matalan appeared to have had its Twitter account targeted today by scammers

After Twitter reportedly restricted (and banned) numerous accounts sharing the likeness of Tesla & SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, one of the social media platform's foremost stars, reports have arisen that claim that the world-renowned entrepreneur has been impersonated yet again, this time in a context pertaining to Bitcoin (BTC).

"There's no easy way to force verified users to keep security settings such as two factor enabled, and all it takes is one successful phish to set a scam in motion", he said.

The tweets have since been deleted and numerous accounts recovered. Note the "Promoted" status at the bottom of the pitch. They cited a bitcoin scam. The hackers solicited transactions in excess of 0.1 BTC with false promises of sending considerably higher sums in return.

The apparent error quickly came to the attention of pundits, who slammed Twitter for allowing an advertiser to pay for added visibility for the fake giveaway and for failing to spot its obviously fraudulent nature.

Pathe U.K. later confirmed that it had recovered control of its account and deleted the fake Elon Musk tweets.

At press time, the scammer's or scammers' address had received in excess of 28 bitcoin. With hours, around $130,000 worth of Bitcoin had been sent to the scammers.

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Although many have claimed that the hacker's "winnings" are well over $100,000, others aren't convinced that the BTC "Musk" garnered are from the pockets of naive investors, but rather, from the scammer/hacker's associates and accomplices. 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?"

The comment sparked widespread speculation, with many arguing Musk was simply trolling and others saying the entrepreneur was hinting at a new cryptocurrency-related service.

According to Business Insider, while Twitter has previously attempted to stop impersonation scams, the hackers have managed to promote their tweets and capitalize on the cryptocurrency frenzy.

It wasn't Musk's first brush with the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Later on, the creator of Dogecoin sent Musk a script that could purportedly solve the problem.

What's your take? How should Twitter handle bitcoin scams on its platform?

What do you think about Twitter promoting a Bitcoin scam?

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