Ill-intentioned parties have apparently one to Twitter to exploit unknowing users by scamming them out of their funds. Under the ruse of funds solicitation, with promises of bigger gains in return, a growing number of Twitter accounts have been posing as known cryptocurrency developers and startup companies.
As the reports indicate, the modus of these scammers work by asking for small donations in cryptocurrency through social media. As the supposed deal goes, the organization will then be multiplying the amount originally sent by the donor. The poseur account will either invite fans to make the donation within a limited period or set a cap to the number of participants.
These fake Twitter accounts have not only been using individual accounts, but even corporate ones as well. Ripple, for example finds a Twitter alter-ego in @RippleOfficial. The company behind the XRP token has found out that the fake account actually went the extra lengths to mimic the contents of their official Twitter account by tweeting and retweeting the same posts. The copycat also apparently made the offer to donate 100,000 tokens to the community under the condition that participating individuals will first send 100 XRP.
Ripple, through their chief executive Brad Garlinghouse, expressed dismay, commenting that “impersonators [have] (frustratingly) become very relevant” after “@bgarlinghaus” tried to scam his followers. Fortunately, @RippleOfficial was duly reported and consequently suspended.
Meanwhile, ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin advocated for a system that would better filter copycat accounts, or at least a “better reputation system,” given how deleting these fraud accounts one by one is not only tedious but also ineffective. According to him, there are at least 800 possible permutations of his name, and all it would take is to change a single character. Make that two characters and the permutations skyrocket to as much as 350,000. Should anyone send him 0.1 ether, however, he joked that will not respond simply because he is “too lazy.”
It is unclear what steps Twitter are making to address this particular concern, although so far, two accounts have been already suspended.