Return of the Con: Cryptocurrency Scammers Reappear on Twitter

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Cryptocurrency scams exploded on Twitter during the 2017 cryptoeconomy bull run.

“Send X ether, get +X ether back,” was the main tactic the 2017 scammers used. Those crypto con artists virtually disappeared as the cryptoverse turned bearish in 2018, but with cryptocurrency prices surging anew this year, some of those cyber crooks have returned and are brandishing a new technique.

Ethereum Twitter Scam

That technique? Screenshotting a scam message and posting it on high-profile tweets, as opposed to the old 2017 method wherein scammers directly posted their messages to Twitter in hopes of suckering in victims. Those victims would send in ETH or BTC and would never receive the scammers’ supposedly guaranteed returns.

The difference is that the old scam tweets were seemingly easier to detect and thus easier to report. Now, the new screenshot scams can still be reported, but their image-centric forms make them less immediately recognizable to anyone who experienced the 2017 tweet scams firsthand.

How’s the Scam Work?

The new scammers, which are mainly targeting Bitcoin and Ethereum users, have made a subtle shift toward screenshots rather than plain old text tweets in their bid to try and game new victims.

For instance, here’s an example scam freshly sourced from Twitter: it comes through “Max Karnet,” a clear bot account if its lengthy and randomized Twitter account name of @QJdu8E51ZNjrOJc is any indication.

The new 2019 crypto scam. Note: do not follow the the scammer’s link! Image via Twitter

On July 4th, that account described wanting to “celebrate” Binance in offering a “5,000 BTC Giveaway,” though the alleged offering was most certiainly fake. The con artist hoped someone, anyone, would send in some BTC so that the crook or crooks could keep the sum and, thus breaking their promise, not send any crypto back to the recipient.

Similar scams have recently popped up, promising ether rather than bitcoin. Regardless, all of the related schemes are fake and are designed to shake crypto newbies out of their cryptocurrency.

We at Blockonomi encourage you to report any suspicious behavior from crypto Twitter accounts in case they’re scammers!

It’s Time to Fight Back Against Crypto Scammers

Never engage with an account promising to send you cryptocurrency: it’s undoubtedly a scam.

Nothing is too good to be true, and the same is true for cryptocurrency pitches. It might be tempting to follow up with someone promising to send you crypto, but it’s not worth it, as they’re most certainly lying.

Indeed, you should never send anyone your private key regarding any cryptocurrency.

For example, one crypto user recently replied to a “helper” on Reddit with their Ledger hardware wallet private key, and that helper promptly betrayed them by compromising the key.

The victim ended up losing all of their crypto to the supposed helper, who swiped all the user’s funds, and authorities have now seemingly been involved.

The entire ordeal could have been avoided if the victim in question had not provided their account’s private key to the attacker. Yet as the cryptoeconomy remains fledgling, such incidents seem all but inevitable.



William M. Peaster is a professional writer and editor who specializes in the Ethereum, Dai, and Biticoin beats in the cryptoeconomy. He's appeared in Blockonomi, Binance Academy, Bitsonline, and more. He enjoys tracking smart contracts, DAOs, dApps, and the Lightning Network. He's learning Solidity, too! Contact him on Telegram at @wmpeaster

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