The SpaceX and Tesla head-honcho took to Twitter to condemn the crypto-scam currently engulfing the platform. Professional thin-person and co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, also weighed in, asking Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, to “help us”.
SCAM, SCAM, SCAM, SCAM!
The scam involves bot-armies mimicking celebrities and high-profile users (including Mr Musk), in an attempt to trick ‘normies’ into sending them coin. These posts often appear in a celebrities feed following an authentic post, such as Elon’s discovery of a ‘Jazz Hands’ emoji.
As you can see, the bots use a similar handle to the celebrity along with a real picture. They typically offer to multiply your cryptocurrency by ten… if you send an initial amount to verify your details.
Then more shill bots jump in to confirm that the offer is like, totally genuine dude. Needless to say it isn’t, and you will never see your ‘verification’ coins again. It’s also worth noting that the scambots tend to block the person they’re imitating so that the real person is completely unaware if their replies below.
Pretty clever huh.
BUT IT’S FAKE NEWS
Not the scam, of course. The scam is very real. But you’d have to have been living in a cave, packed with optimistic teenage Thai footballers to fall for that. Rich people did not get rich, nor do they stay rich, by giving their money to randoms on Twitter.
The truth is that Elon didn’t speak out against it, rather in begrudging admiration. Yesterday his 22+ million followers received a tweet stating: “I want to know who is running the Etherium scambots! Mad skillz.”
And this wasn’t in response to a bot. Rather, it was in response to someone drawing attention to an account shamelessly asking Elon for bit coin (sic).
I want to know who is running the Etherium scambots! Mad skillz …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2018
It isn’t clear whether this account is a bot, as direct requests aren’t really their thing. But looking at some of the other tweets I’d guess maybe it’s just a troll?
Vitalik did indeed tweet to bemoan the fact that Elon’s first Ethereum tweet was about scammers and not the technology. He also asked if someone could do something about the situation. In an ironic twist, Vitalik’s posts have constantly been targeted by the scambot army.
I do wish @elonmusk's first tweet about ethereum was about the tech rather than the twitter scambots........@jack help us please? Or someone from the ETH community make a layer 2 scam filtering solution, please? https://t.co/biVRshZmne— Vitalik "Not giving away ETH" Buterin (@VitalikButerin) July 9, 2018
Vitalik has been so hard hit by these scammers that he has added “Not giving away ETH” to his twitter-name. A move which has been since copied by the bots, even when ‘giving away’ ETH. Generously, he didn’t point out Mr Musk’s misspelling of Ethereum.
In the past few months Twitter have apparently shut down more than 1 million fake accounts per day. This effort to combat the spread of scammers and fake news shows the scale of the problem, but it is clearly falling short.
It remains to be seen what more can be done, but in the meantime… Stay safe out there!