Early this morning, hackers targeted retail giant Target’s Twitter account to run a cryptocurrency giveaway scam, promising to gift cryptocurrency to those who sent Bitcoin first to the hacker’s public address.
The tweet said Target was giving away 5,000 BTC to the community as celebration for accepting cryptocurrency payments in store. Users who sent 0.2 to 2 BTC to the listed public address would receive 2 to 40 BTC back in return.
Target does not accept cryptocurrency as payment nor has it made any statements to that effect.
After deleting the tweet and regaining access to its account, Target tweeted: “Early this morning, our Twitter account was inappropriately accessed. The access lasted for approx. half an hour & one fake tweet was posted during that time about a bitcoin scam.”
These types of scams are not new to Twitter; however, instead of hacking actual accounts, hackers have successfully scammed funds by impersonating prominent figures in the cryptocurrency space such as Crypto.IQ’s Charlie Shrem, Vitalik Buterin, Andreas Antonopoulos, Nick Szabo, and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
By gaining access to verified accounts, hackers change the user’s Twitter name to one like ‘Vitalik Buterin,’ creating the impression that a verified Vitalik Buterin is addressing followers. Furthermore, these accounts will promote their posts in order to reach a larger audience.
In the past few months, Elon Musk, Israeli and American politicians, and others have been targeted in various iterations of cryptocurrency giveaway scams.
Last month, Twitter automatically locked all verified accounts that changed their names to “Elon Musk; however, they have yet to make meaningful changes that can adequately mitigate these scams from proliferating on the social platform’s feed.
Please remember: Anyone who claims to send you cryptocurrency after you send first will scam you out of your money.