Back In July 2020, Twitter was hit by a Bitcoin scam. Scammers hacked into a number of high-profile accounts and sent out a Tweet asking Bitcoin investors to lodge money to a specific cryptocurrency account. In return, twice the amount would be sent back to them, as a “charitable gesture.” Because the Tweet appeared to come from a reputable source, a number of people were duped, before Twitter blocked or temporarily closed the affected accounts.
The above story demonstrates two things. First, it’s proof of the skill, ingenuity, and deviousness of scammers (in this case, it’s thought they may have used Twitter insiders to help them). And second, it shows that there are still intelligent people out there who are taken in by the promise of “get-rich-quick” schemes.
All of which leads us to February 2021, and the latest Bitcoin scam on Twitter. Once again, this latest fraud showcased the creative ability and criminal intent of scammers. Once again, it showed just how vulnerable all social media platforms – and not just Twitter – are to cyber-attacks. And once again, it proved that users across all platforms need to stay alert and be aware of the dangers of online scams.
For some reason, there has been little mainstream coverage of the February 2021 scam. So read on for a thought-provoking tale involving Bitcoin scammers, Twitter, a Korean pop band, their famous global army of fans … and the unexpected resilience of the next generation.
Let’s get the acronyms out of the way first: BTS is a world-famous Korean pop (K-POP) band whose millions of enthusiastic fans are known as the ARMY (Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth). Members of the ARMY tend to be young, savvy, and into the latest technical developments like cryptos – in other words, the perfect place for Bitcoin scammers to attempt to build a following, gain credibility, and then rip people off.
This was no ordinary scam. The perpetrators used a variety of ways and methods to advance their criminal cause. Some unscrupulous ARMY members had apparently sold their accounts to cryptocurrency companies or taken a commission in return for promoting them. Other influential members had innocently, or inadvertently, started following cryptocurrency accounts. And a number of cryptocurrency accounts had begun tagging ARMY members, offering BTS giveaways, merchandising, and albums.
The idea was to hype up the attraction of cryptocurrencies and engage the attention of ARMY members. Conscious of the fact that many BTS fans were young, inexperienced, and impressionable, the cryptocurrency scammers hoped to phish for personal information that would enable them to hack into private accounts.
It sounds like the perfect plan, but what happened next was really fascinating. Doubtless, an unspecified number of fans fell for the scam, but more significantly, many ARMY members were outraged by the idea that people were trying to rip off BTS fans. The group’s own internal cybersecurity department hit back, with warnings to members about both the scam and the dangers of sharing personal information. And after prompting from ARMY members and other sources, Twitter suspended some of the implicated accounts.
Interestingly, much of the ARMY’s anger was directed not so much at the potential scam, but more at the lack of transparency from members – in particular, with regard to certain BTS fans sneakily trying to make money on the back of their fellow ARMY members.
For the moment, things seem to have died down a little, but this story is a valuable reminder of the potential dangers of a Twitter cryptocurrency scam, and how easy it is to be ripped off.
For starters, as cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity, we can be sure that scammers will launch similar schemes in the future. Next, the need for vigilance is higher than ever, and not just around scammers. As this story illustrates, some influencers and high-profile accounts have zero principles and will do anything in return for a buck. However, alongside those unscrupulous influencers, there are also many good guys who make it their business to fight back against the bad guys.
The famous British statesman Winston Churchill once wrote “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Those words certainly apply to the Twitter crypto scam that hit BTS and their ARMY of fans. But what other lessons can we learn from this episode?
Perhaps the biggest lessons to learn are the most obvious ones: the need to take care on all social media platforms, and to be extremely careful about who you follow, what links you click, and what personal information you share with others.
You can be sure that those who lost money, or who were taken in by the scammers, will be more careful next time. But is there any comeback for people who lost out to Bitcoin scammers? You may be surprised by the answer to that question, as there is a potential solution.
Cryptocurrency scammers are attracted to Bitcoin because of the lack of regulation, its anonymous nature, and the difficulty of tracing transactions. That might make you think that all is lost if you’ve been the victim of a Twitter Bitcoin scam. However, we at Payback think differently. We’ve been helping victims of online fraud since 2008, and in that time, we’ve successfully recovered many millions of dollars for our clients.
At Payback, our specialist team has a unique mix of technical, legal, and financial expertise. You can use our knowledge and experience to take on the crypto scammers and beat them at their own game. That includes helping investors who’ve been hit by a Twitter Bitcoin scam. We’ve helped customers right across the globe, and we can help you.
Call us now for a free, no-obligation consultation on how we can help you to recover scammed Bitcoin – and join the growing number of happy Payback customers who’ve got back funds they thought were gone forever.
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