Crypto Scammers Tapping Twitter to Hunt Victims Via Copycat Websites, Hacked Verified Accounts

Scammers have also been targeting crypto investors who have lost their assets to phishing scams or protocol hacks.

Crypto Scammers Tapping Twitter to Hunt Victims Via Copycat Websites, Hacked Verified Accounts

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Moritz Erken

Hong Kong and the US have seen a rise in crypto scam activities in recent times

Highlights
  • Crypto investors need to stay alert around potential scam techniques
  • Investors must not engage with strangers or new websites
  • Victims should not trust strangers offering to help them recover crypto f

The crypto community is under attack from scammers on microblogging site Twitter, a cyber security analyst who goes by the name of ‘Serpent' recently told his 253,400 followers. Scammers have adopted sophisticated tactics, and have begun using copycat websites, hacked verified accounts, as well as promises of fake projects and airdrops to lure unsuspecting victims into their traps via Twitter. In fact, scammers have also been targeting crypto investors who have lost their assets to phishing scams or protocol hacks, and have shared information about it on Twitter.

Bad actors pretend to be helping victims of phishing scams and use the ‘crypto recovery scam' technique to further dupe them. They claim to be blockchain developers and ask for a fee to deploy a smart contract to recover stolen funds. Later, they take the fee and flee.

Scams via ‘unicode letters' as well as ‘honeypot accounts' have also increased in frequency in recent times, Serpent noted in his Twitter thread.

In the former, scammers replace URLs to legitimate sites with infected ones created by them. Characters in the infected URLs are made to look like the ones in the real links. Once the target enters the fake website and gives away their login information, their assets come closer to being under the control of the scammer, who eventually drains it off the wallet.

In honeypot account scams, on the other hand, Twitter is used as a messaging platform. Scammers lock their target victims and contact them via direct messages, asking for tips to work around crypto trading. The cyber analyst has warned Twitter users to refrain from engaging in such conversations with strangers.

A recent report by BanklessTimes has claimed that US-based crypto investors lost $185 million (roughly Rs. 1,500 crore) between January 2021 and March 2022 to romance scams and over $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,000 crore) in total to other fraudulent activities.

Scam activities around crypto have also increased multi-fold in Hong Kong.

In the first six months of 2022, Hong Kong saw an alarming 105 percent hike in crypto scams as compared to the same period in 2021.

As per Serpent, fake art commissions and malicious play-to-earn game projects are techniques being used by scammers to strike the NFT and blockchain gaming communities.

Twitter is estimated to have over 200 million active users around the world.

Members of the crypto, blockchain, and Web3 communities stay connected with each other via relevant hashtags on Twitter.

It is, however, noteworthy, that these pools of hashtags also make it easier for hackers and scammers to identify potential victims.

Security agencies from several nations including US' FBI have repeatedly warned the crypto community against interacting with unknown people to safeguard themselves from financial risks.

In June, the FBI had revealed that crypto fraudsters have been posing as professional financial advisors and reaching out to LinkedIn users, offering them scam schemes. As per a CNBC report, a bunch of LinkedIn users have seen losses ranging from $200,000 (roughly Rs. 1.5 crore) and $1.6 million (roughly Rs. 12 crore) owing to crypto scams.


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Further reading: Cryptocurrency, Crypto Scams, Twitter
Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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