The moment Elon Musk posts something on Twitter, some scammers respond to his tweets running various crypto scams and try to steal some attention – and even money from his followers – disguising him. Bad actors use deceptive tactics such as Tesla and SpaceX CEOs use the same profile photo that is on his official account and his profile name, but with some fancy fonts. Interestingly, the accounts have a ‘verified’ sign so that he can easily pretend to be a mask, which must have a blue tick on his account.
Scammers use a link in response to Elon Musk’s tweet with a short tweet to get the attention of millions of his followers. The link often leads users to a malicious website that ultimately aims to steal money.
Gadgets 360 has noticed that crypto scammers have recently taken a new turn in disguising Elon Musk and using Twitter for their campaigns – especially after the billionaire showed his keen interest in crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ether and Dodgecoin. Plan to join the board.
People are starting to focus more on these scams – unknowingly – as Musk’s tweets have influenced trading decisions in the crypto market.
On Saturday, Musk himself admitted to Twitter accounts of disguised accounts.
“Now subtract the crypto scam accounts that Twitter constantly shows as ‘real’ people in everyone’s feed,” he said. Tweet In response to a tweet showing an increase in Twitter users over the last 11 years.
Since scammers often use the same profile photo that is in the mask’s account and his name, it is difficult to determine their legitimacy at first glance. Accounts have also been verified – making it more difficult for some users to understand scammer accounts.
Experts believe that in most cases, scammers hack verified accounts that do not have many followers – at least not the equivalent of masks Has 81.1 million followers On the platform. Once they get the verified account, they change their name and profile picture to look like their masked account.
Noah Jiancirakusa, an assistant professor of mathematics and data science at Bentley University, said: “All the scammers do is go to a real Elon Musk tweet and then post a reply – so a casual reader skimming the thread on Twitter will see the real mask tweet.” , Who recently wrote a book entitled “How Algorithms Create and Prevent Fake News” to address the challenges of using AI and human restraint to limit online false content.
“Users will then see what a follow-up comment by him looks like, but it’s really a reply from a different user’s hacked verified account that looks like a mask by changing the name and profile picture.”
Jiancirakusa added that users could understand the difference between a scam and an actual tweet by following the ‘@’ sign of the account where the tweet was posted instead of the account name and profile photo. However, he underlined that even if someone has that knowledge, it is so easy to accidentally ignore it.
These scandals are not new because in the past they have been well reported in various international media including the BBC. Some users even disguise themselves as scammers and lose huge amounts of money due to various tactics.
Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that users lost তে 2 million (about 15 15.21 million) in crypto to masked disguised scammers in the six-month period starting October 2020.
Twitter has apparently been aware of the problem for quite some time. In 2018, the company said in a media statement that it was taking steps to reduce crypto scams on its platform.
However, the problem is apparently still largely unresolved.
Incognito policy states that users “cannot disguise individuals, groups or organizations in order to confuse, mislead or deceive others, or use a fake identity in a way that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter.”
Similarly, the Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy states that users “may not use Twitter’s services in a manner that is artificially intended to disseminate or suppress information or engage in behavior that distorts or disrupts the human experience on Twitter.”
Violation of either of these two policies does not imply that users will no longer be able to access their accounts. Twitter’s profile may require some editing that disguises an individual or organization or temporarily suspends the account.
Particularly in the case of manipulation and spam policy violations, Twitter states that “the consequences of this policy violation depend on the severity of the violation as well as the previous history of the violation.”
There are conditions on Twitter that may consider deleting the ‘verified’ status from any account that receives the “misleading or significantly altered personality in your account” changes. Available At his support center. It does not, however, take that step for all such accounts.
Ongoing scam tweets were pulled after some attention was drawn to the platform, although accounts were still active with ‘verified’ badges at the time of filing this article. The accounts, however, did not have a profile photo or a separate name to distinguish it from Mask’s official account.
Having said that, some users were basically unable to differentiate the scammers and posted their concerns on Twitter. Some of them, though, The red flag is theirs Definitely call the response scandal. Some users have also raised concerns about the mask as it now has the ability to integrate user feedback within the platform.
#Elnmask While helping you create an edit button for Twitter, you can also get rid of these scammer bots that please millions of people. The first time I saw this comment I realized it was you and lost a lot of money. 3
– Bravid Scarlinghouse (@ AlexSeb2323) April 7, 2022
“The biggest reason, in our opinion, is that many victims are new to blockchain and often technologically illiterate – although not always,” said Fran S. Van Wirt, blockchain tracker and founder of Crypto Watchdog Wheel Alert. “They have not yet been exposed to these scams but they have an idea of what the blockchain is and who is being disguised.”
In some recent tweets, scammers have been seen giving away crypto assets to users after viewing the links they provide. However, all this is nothing but a conspiracy to ensnare people.
“Giving Elon Musk Bitcoin is not an absurd idea,” he said.
According to data tracked by Whale Alert, the total value of transactions through crypto giveway scams operating online worldwide increased by almost 4,000 percent from $ 2,320,064 to $ 93,128,396 (approximately Rs. 707 crore).
By 2022, scammers were able to generate 22,601,764 (approximately Rs. 172 crore), according to data from Whale Alert.
S. Van Wirt says most of the tracked giveaway scams pretended to be masks, although Ether co-founder Vitalik Buterin was also disguised in some cases. He added that he had noticed some similar scammers who had recently tried to fool people with fake Ukraine charity websites using masks in the scandal.
Onus is on Twitter
Experts believe that although Twitter has taken some steps to curb scams on its platform, it has not done enough to deter scammers from using camouflage tactics.
“It’s amazing that Twitter hasn’t brought this issue to the forefront,” said Jiancirakusa.
He further speculated that Twitter was working with disguised accounts of celebrities, including masks, to run an “ad-hoc” scandal.
“For example, it shuts down hacked accounts when the real owner complains or calls to change their fraudulent names and photos, but this is a case-by-case solution that is clearly a systemic problem,” he said. .
Mark Owen Jones, a digital media expert who works as an assistant professor of Middle East Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, noted that Musk was not the only public figure to be considered for disguise on Twitter. He said people were hacking verified accounts and making changes to well-known members of the Gulf ruling family.
“The only reason companies like Twitter aren’t responding is because they don’t have the manpower, which is a fundamental problem with their scalability,” Jones said. “Product manufacturers bear some responsibility for the misuse of the functionality of their platform – especially when those functionality is selective.”
Although the exact ways in which Twitter can solve the problem are not universally available, Jiancirakusa suggested that the platform could solve the problem by creating a system to check if any profile photos match the specific accounts.
“It’s going to be so easy to implement, it’s pretty amazing that it hasn’t been done before,” he noted.
The professor added that Twitter could limit such tactics, making it difficult for verified accounts to change their names.
“Unverified accounts can still freely rename as they wish, but once that blue check is in an account it will be very difficult to change the name because it is very easy for people to duplicate a blue check without that extra friction. Many more prominent verified accounts , ”He said.
According to S. Van Wirth, Elon Musk’s disguised fraudsters are not only using Twitter to deceive the public with crypto gifts, as these tactics are also becoming more common on Telegram and YouTube. However, the way people can easily fall into the trap on Twitter is quite worrying.
The ‘verified’ status of the accounts run by the scam campaign serves as a trust marker and can discourage individuals from guarding them, Jones said.