To impersonate tech entrepreneur Elon Musk multiple Twitter accounts have been hacked on November 5, among them one reportedly collected $170,000 approximately.
Following the hack the scammers changed the profile picture and name of the account to look identical to Musks’ account. Then scammers would post comment in real Elon Musk’s’ threads, so as to give the impression of validity. Few of those scam tweets said that Elon Musk was conducting “the biggest” crypto giveaway globally for the users of “Bitcoic” (read Bitcoin) and provided a link to the giveaway to “participate.”
To cheat the security measures of Twitter, scammers changed one of the characters from the name subtly, while maintaining the display name that appeared as “Elon Musk” at a glance, preventing itself from getting flagged by Twitter automatically.
Reportedly the hackers compromised multiple different accounts, which included handles of film production firm Pathe U.K. and Frank Pallone Jr. a politician from U.S.
Lachlan Markay for Daily Beast reported that sources from Pallone’s campaign confirmed the breach, denying any political goal behind and citing, “just looks like a Bitcoin Scam.”
If you fall for this you deserve to be scammed tbh pic.twitter.com/RKjd90UsBt
— A source close to Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 5, 2018
Adding to it he stated that one of the involved BTC wallet received $158,256 and that the payments “are still coming.” By the press time the referred address by Markay had a final balance of 26.38 BTC.
Later Pathe U.K. confirmed the recovery of their account and also that they have deleted the fake Elon Musk tweets.
There are various other high-profile individuals in the crypto industry and tech have similarly impersonated. Last April, Pavel Durov the CEO of Telegram tweeted a warning, mentioning to his followers that the messaging app was going through downtime as its server clusters overheating. His tweet grabbed attention towards the fake crypto giveaway scammers who posed as him claimed to offer cryptocurrency to users as a thank you token.
Last January, Twitter saw rush of “Charlie Lee” the Litecoin founders impersonators, following similar tactics.