As the coronavirus continues to make its unprecedented sweep across many nations, so are scams associated with the virus. Fraud reports are increasing as scammers take advantage of this uncertain time.
Cryptocurrency fraud is targeted to the vulnerable particularly, the elderly and those in financial difficulty. Many of the scams come from phishing schemes, emails and SMS.
Cryptocurrency fraud – Compromised Twitter Accounts
On the evening of the 15th of July, compromised Twitter accounts of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, the Chief Executive of Tesla, Elon Musk, presidential hopeful Joe Biden, and some high-profile bitcoin and other cryptocurrency industry accounts posted a scam message that was offering bitcoin giveaways. The messages were reported to be within minutes of each other.
Twitter gave the following comment concerning the incident “We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly.”
Some of the Twitter hacked statement include:
“Everyone is asking me to give back and now is the time. I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2000….” This particular tweet was displayed on Bill Gates’s verified Twitter account.
“We have partnered with CryptoForHealth and are giving back 5,000 BTC,” another post read.
A total amount exceeding $US100,000 was sent to one bitcoin address with a blockchain account. It is unclear how the scammers hacked these verified accounts since some of the accounts are known to use two-factor authentication.
Other hacked accounts include rapper Kanye West, investor Warren Buffet, former U.S. President Barack Obama, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and many more celebrities.
As the coronavirus continues to linger, so will the activity of scammers continue to rise. Now more than ever, Cybersecurity and privacy risks should be top of mind for all businesses and individuals especially given this time of stay at home orders and working from home.