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Cryptocurrency Scammers Are Now Using Twitter to Hijack Verified Accounts

Cryptocurrency scammers are now using Twitter to make use of naïve investors looking to make money. At present, scammers have started hijacking verified accounts to look more credible.

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Some cryptocurrency scammers are now hijacking previously verified accounts and then using those accounts to scam users. The latest example is that of a Twitter account by the name @TronFoundationl. It is an imitation of Tron Foundation with a Twitter handle @Tronfoundation.

@TronFoundationl phishing scam was discovered by among other users, Geoff Golberg, a Twitter user who frequently calls out bot and spam accounts. Twitter later took down the profile @TronFoundationl after BuzzFeed highlighted it.

However, even after a change of names, Twitter stripes verification but did not, in this case, raising some questions about processes of verification on Twitter. Twitter responded by adding that the same procedures of stripping verification to usernames with a changed name remain.

A Twitter spokesman told BuzzFeed,

“We strongly encourage everyone to use login verification for account security. Also, if an account changes its username, it should lose its verified status. Any instance of this not occurring is an error.”

Hard to identify for many

@Tronfoundationl, which is a phishing scam, used the same profile photo, pinned tweet, bio, and location as the original @Tronfoundation. This made it hard for people to differentiate it from the original foundation. Moreover, a @Tronfoundationl account was verified by Twitter.

The company even replied to a tweet by the @Tronfoundation founder Justin Sun on Friday about a release date of TRON mainnet.

However, some investigation by BuzzFeed revealed that @Tronfoundationl was using a Twitter account originally used by @LiteracyBridge. This company is a nonprofit based in Seattle, Washington. It claims to focus on “improving the health, income & quality of life for the world’s most underserved communities by providing life-changing knowledge through innovative technology.” However, that’s how they got verification.

However, it is likely that they hijacked this account. For instance, they hijacked @adaxnik and used it to spoof Tron founder Justin Sun’s account. BuzzFeed noticed that this account belonged to a luxury menswear design team in London. The original tweets by @adaxnik are still present down the Twitter page.

Nik Thakkar, one of the designers behind @adaxnik even tweeted to Twitter’s support four days ago that his account was hacked.

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David Kariuki is a journalist who has a wide range of experience reporting about modern technology solutions including cryptocurrencies. A graduate of Kenya's Moi University, he also writes for Hypergrid Business, Cryptomorrow, and Cleanleap, and has previously worked for Resources Quarterly and Construction Review magazines.

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