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Scammers saw an opportunity to scam Elon Musk fans ahead of his Saturday Night Live (SNL) appearance, promoting fake crypto giveaway scams via Twitter. The scammers successfully defrauded victims of nearly $100,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and a personal favourite of Musk’s: Dogecoin (DOGE).

Hackers managed to gain access to around 20 verified Twitter accounts, adjusting the profiles to make them resemble SNL’s official account. These altered accounts flooded the replies of Elon Musk, Tesla and SNL, promoting crypto giveaway scams, prompting users to join a virtual event by clicking a link that led them to believe they’d  receive 5,000 Bitcoin.

Fraud tracker, Malware Hunter Team, shared screenshots of verified Twitter accounts that had been hijacked:

One of the hacked accounts was of a former governor of Rio de Janeiro, who was arrested in 2018:

Most of the verified Twitter accounts targeted for the scam were inactive or abandoned accounts, with some even inactive for more than 8 years, according to the Malware Hunter Team.

Although it’s hard to believe that anyone could possibly fall for such scams, these crypto giveaway scams have been incredibly successful for scammers. According to Bleeping Computer, scammers made off with at least $97,054.62 over a two day period.

Feature image by Ninian Reid from flickr

Andrew is a law student currently studying at UNISA, and Global Crypto's in-house reporter. Andrew discovered blockchain in his final year of school and since developed a keen interest in the subject. He appreciates a good cup of coffee. When he is not too busy with work or studies, he enjoys playing a good round of golf.