On Feb. 22, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk sent out a tweet: “Dojo 4 Doge” that ended up costing a man bitcoins (CRYPTO: BTC) that would be worth above $561,000 at press time.
The Enthusiasm: Musk’s tweets on Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) have been abundant this year and similarly abundant have been sophisticated scams running in the reply sections on his tweets.
When Musk tweeted “Dojo 4 Doge,” a verified Twitter user with a different username but carrying the name “Elon Musk” responded, touting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make some cash — or Bitcoin.
The fake Musk said they were holding “a special event — ” all a user had to do was to clink on a link and transfer some cryptocurrency to a wallet address mentioned on that site and they would get double the amount in exchange.
Now, such scams by verified Twitter accounts have been running for a long, long time, but can look convincing to some unaware users.
One of the real Musk’s followers fell for the fake Musk’s tweet and sent out 10 bitcoins on the wallet address mentioned on the scam website, BBC reported.
Sebastian (name changed) told BBC that he was curious about Musk’s Dojo tweet and thought it was the real Musk actually giving away the Bitcoin.
After ensuring that the Musk profile was verified by Twitter, Sebastian thought it was best to send out the maximum amount of Bitcoin that was allowed for the contest.
“‘Take the maximum’, I thought, this is definitely real, so I sent 10 Bitcoin,” he told BBC.
The Regret: Sebastian soon realized the giveaway was probably a scam.
“I threw my head on to the sofa cushions and my heart was beating so hard. I thought I’d just thrown away the gamechanger for my family, my early retirement fund and all the upcoming holidays with my kids.,” he told BBC.
“I went upstairs and sat on the edge of the bed to tell my wife. I woke her up and told her that I’d made a big mistake, a really big mistake.”
Sebastian ultimately accepted this his bitcoins were gone forever after sending out a host of emails to an address mentioned at the scam website and tweeting endlessly at the fake Musk Twitter account.
Why It Matters: Twitter has been filled with such scams, especially as they relate to cryptocurrencies, for years.
Not just Musk but others like Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin have also seen their names used to promote such scams.
Cybersecurity activists and members of the cryptocurrency community have long called on Twitter to find a solution and Musk himself has mocked the widespread cryptocurrency giveaway scams on the platform on multiple occasions.
At this point, I want ETH even if it is a scam
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2018
It is important to check a username on Twitter when looking to verify whether a tweet comes from the real account and not an impersonator.
Twitter allows users to change their names, but not their usernames, without losing their verified status. In Musk’s case, the real account carries the username “@elonmusk.” While other accounts on Twitter, including verified ones, can carry the name “Elon Musk,” the username can’t be used by another account.
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