Crypto is no stranger to hack scams and other types of fraud. What makes this industry especially attractive to criminals is the anonymous nature of crypto. Over the years, the techniques and modes of attacks have become more and more complex, whenever a vulnerability is patched, scammers find a way around. Its a game of cat and mouse. This results in a continuous effort from each side to outdo the other side. Yet some techniques that are still used are simple, like scamming via Twitter bots. Even though the number of incidents of scamming using Twitter bots has reduced significantly in the past, they have made a comeback recently, and that too with full force.

Modus operandi

In 2019, cryptocurrencies have been missing one key ingredient – Twitter-based Ethereum scam bots and the good news is: they’re back! The only change they seem to have adopted is in the design aspect. They still use the same mode of operation. The scammer basically appeals to people’s desires to get quick money, unsuspecting people are lured into the scheme by offering them the opportunity to double their crypto. This can only be achieved by verifying an Ethereum account. In order to do this, one has to send Ethereum to a said account. There are genuine cases where someone’s account has to be verified, especially when using a credit card but such transactions usually involve transferring an amount less than a dollar. The claim made by these scammers is that the sent amount of Ethereum will be doubled and credited to back to the same account, of course, this never happens.

Making it legit

To make their claim more legit these bots go to extreme extents. The usual method involves faking identities of technologists, like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ethereum‘s co-founder Vitalik Buterin. A great deal of effort is made to make the new profiles as legit as possible. After this, the self-proclaimed official Twitter handle makes the claim of doubling or free giveaways. There is a self-updating spreadsheet shared by the scammer. This spreadsheet is supposed to be proof that other people were actually able to double the money. It lists addresses and transactions showing Ethereum being transferred into an account and double the amount being transferred back. Seems legit right? Only one problem. Checking out the address provided in an Ethereum block explorer, we can easily see all those transactions shown are fake.

Users beware

The simplicity by which these scammers are pulling off such heists is ingenious, but at the same time worrisome. This shows that unless users keep vigilance no security measure can ensure the safety of one’s funds. Its similar to the vulnerabilities found by ethical hackers and the patch released to fix it. Unless users update their software there is no use, the system can be easily hacked. Recurring instances of people falling for such scams also shows the need for educating the wider community of crypto and its technology. Anyone with basic knowledge of how this new technology works will not fall for such twitter bots. It’s not always the fault of the system. We as users need to pay real attention to safety measures, especially when handling crypto.
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Abishek Dharshan

Abishek is an Entrepreneur, Digital Nomad, Student, and ICO Marketing Manager currently based in Seoul, South Korea. He is actively involved in the Blockchain space and has worked in numerous projects in the Silicon Valley since 2017. His interests revolve around Finance, Consulting, and Blockchain Research.

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