Twitter is taking steps to reduce the amount of cryptocurrency scams on its platform. In recent weeks, a number of scammers on Twitter have impersonated Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Elon Musk, or John McAfee. They’ll use deceptive tactics like a slight misspelling of a username or use the same or similar avatar of the verified account, and tell followers to send them a small amount of currency to receive a bigger amount back.
In a statement, Twitter says it will begin taking down these types of accounts. “We’re aware of this form of manipulation and are proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner.”
In February, the real Buterin had tweeted satirically that if users sent him 0.1 ether, he would send them nothing, “because I am too lazy.” Scammers, posing as @VitalikButter or @VitalikButerjm, took advantage of his tweet by replying to it with tweets continuing to ask for small amounts of ether. Those who fell for the scam must have missed the fake accounts’ dubious last names and their lack of a verification check mark.
The scammers eventually overwhelmed Buterin, and he responded with a flat-out denial of the fake accounts in March by changing his display name to Vitalik “No I’m not giving away ETH” Buterin.
Elon Musk impersonators are also out there. One fake Elon account responded to @SpaceX’s tweet that the webcast of Falcon 9 launch was now live on March 6th, by saying, “Just for today I’ve decided to give away 3000 ETH to my fans.” At the time of publish, the fake @elonmuskik account has been suspended. The @VitalikButerjm account is still active.