The Twitter accounts of Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, former President Barack Obama and at least three tech bigwigs — Tesla’s Elon Musk, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — appear to have been hacked in a digital currency scam.
Musk’s Twitter account posted multiple messages on Wednesday promising to “double” payments to his bitcoin address, also known as a BTC address.
Biden’s and Gates’ account posted a similar message, telling followers: “If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000.”
Bezos’ account also vowed to double payments sent to his BTC address. “I am only doing a maximum of $50,000,000,” a tweet on the Amazon founder’s account said.
An identical BTC address was posted to all three accounts.
Crypto scammers hack Elon Musk, Biden, Obama, and Kanye on Twitter@TwitterSupport says “We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it.”https://t.co/fWBBPxzzST pic.twitter.com/WDYN4phBXW
— Engadget (@engadget) July 15, 2020
As BuzzFeed tech reporter Ryan Mac noted, the posted BTC address did appear to be receiving bitcoin on Wednesday but said it was hard to say whether those transactions were being seeded by the scammers themselves or being sent by people who may have been duped.
“This goes without saying, but do not send the account money,” Mac warned.
The New York Times said at least $100,000 had already been stolen as part of the scheme.
It’s an actual wallet address and there are transactions happening. It’s unclear if these transactions are legit. Scammers often seed their own scams to give them the appearance of authenticity. https://t.co/GUHEDaKNxu pic.twitter.com/xfhl3817xr
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) July 15, 2020
CNBC reported that similar tweets promising a doubled return had appeared on the verified accounts of several major tech companies, including Apple, Uber and Cash App. Rapper and producer Kanye West and former New York City Michael Bloomberg also appear to have been targets.
Twitter said in a statement that it was “aware of a security incident impacting accounts” on its platform.
“We are investigating and taking steps to fix it,” it said.
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