Scambots are threatening the freedom of information spreading on social media. Social media has given modern people the way to connect to the rest of the world like never before.
Today we’re without a doubt connected to the world in a way that a person from 100 years ago wouldn’t possibly begin to understand. This simplification and ease of communication has unfortunately also created many opportunities for hackers to impersonate, steal and misinform people in great numbers.
Twitter is currently facing a predicament with the rapid growth of the crypto scam bots. Many celebrities are buried under fraudulent comments and have some people like Charlie Shem, the CEO of Binance, have signed an “open letter” asking for Twitter to take action.
Now many people have probably come across these bots, but never really paid any attention to them. In short, these are fake accounts of celebrities or famous crypto related figures. Some accounts have even acquired the verified marks to make the whole scam look even more believable.
Scambots are evolving non stop
Now here’s where things get complicated. The verified or not bots will choose invade the trending twitter messages and start offering crypto-related *deals*. The most common one is to ask people to transfer cryptocurrencies to a wallet address while offering a huge return payout. This is made even more believable by the fact that the bots operate together in promoting the scam and sharing the comments so they get more visibility.
To most people, such payouts are too good to be true and they simply report or ignore the posts and comments. Unfortunately, some new and naïve users to crypto and twitter have fallen victims to the scambots and lost their funds with no chance of compensation. This has even caught the attention of Elon Musk, as he jokingly tweeted:
I want to know who is running the Etherium scambots! Mad skillz …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2018
This tweet also caught the attention Vitalk Buterin as he tweeted out:
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
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square has positive views about the crypto community but at this time has not shared any information related to solving the problem.
In early 2017, the NY Times published an investigation into the Devumi company, which has reportedly sold millions of followers to twitter users.
In a report by the Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Labs, it was emphasized that these kinds of scams have netted criminals over $10 million in 2017. This can be linked to the snowball effect caused by “social engineering”.
This issue must be taken seriously because if it goes unattended, it will only be a matter of time before the bots start spreading over other social medias. Security is becoming ever more important in the age of free and almost limitless communication.
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