Well-known cryptocurrency figures including Charlie Lee and Vitalik Buterin have warned Twitter followers of scammers impersonating their accounts. The scam messages are all similar: they have names and icons mimicking the well-known accounts, and invitations to receive or claim crypto tokens — provided you send them some first.
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The Old Too-Good-to-Be-True Scam
Lee posted his warning earlier today, with examples. The scams all have a similar format: the “celebrity” announces they’re giving away LTC, ETH or BTC, and inviting readers to contribute themselves in the hope they’ll get lucky and receive double their money back.
PSA: Please be wary of this Twitter scam going on right now. After every of my post, there will an immediate reply by a scammer promising to give away coins if you send him some. The post looks like it's from me. Blocking them doesn't help, b/c they just create another account. pic.twitter.com/qPHxKntPHD
— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) January 30, 2018
Seriously, Don’t Send Coins to Random Strangers on Twitter
It almost goes without saying that you should never send cryptocoins to random addresses you see on Twitter — any more than you’d send a brown paper bag of cash to random strangers on the street. But still, crypto is a weird scene, and there have been plenty of faucets and “airdrops” in the past that did give away coins.
Usually, though, those coins didn’t have value at the time. No-one is giving you free BTC or ETH in 2018, sorry.
There’s been a plague of crypto-related Twitter scams in general recently — automated replies with @ tags, often from accounts with names in Cyrillic letters, telling readers to visit a website to claim forked tokens — Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, anything. The URLs often have “___claim” in them, as a guide. Rest assured, the only person claiming is the scammer you send coins to.
Blocking or reporting the accounts has little effect, as hundreds more spring up to take their place.
Anyone associated with bitcoin, blockchain or the cryptocurrency industry — even as a hobbyist — is likely to find themselves targeted by scammers (or worse) soon. As always, best advice is to be vigilant and expect that scammers will find you at some stage.
Have you ever been taken in by a crypto scam or fake offer? Tell us all about it in the comments.
Images via Twitter