Hackers earn more than $80 million USD in cryptocurrency fraud schemes

The U.S. government has received about 7,000 complaints from users who have lost more than $80 million USD in cryptocurrency investment scams since October 2020. This report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notes that a large portion of these losses have been generated by Elon Musk and other celebrities’ impersonators.

These scams start as investment tips on online message forums. These posts lure people to fake investment websites posing as well-known personalities on Twitter and Facebook, copying images from their legitimate social networks and even descriptions and biographies.

Hackers then post responses to popular tweets made by genuine celebrity to give prominence to their messages on Twitter. The FTC said that people who only pass through Mr. Musk earned more than $2 million USD in the last six months from October.

Creating fake profiles is a violation of Twitter’s policies on misleading accounts, although Twitter moderators have an excessive workload trying to remove the fake accounts that appear to tell you.

Some occasions, the scammers choose to hack profiles instead of impersonating their legitimate owners. Last July, Musk, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Kanye West were some of the public figures hackers attacked on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin fraud.

Another variant of these scams resorts to fake giveaways, which aim to gather as many potential targets as possible to extract your login credentials to online platforms and even your cryptocurrency addresses.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.