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Scammers are mimicking reputable brands on Facebook in order to steal cryptocurrency

Bitcoin scammers are targeting Facebook users in comments now. (Source: Flickr)
Bitcoin scammers are targeting Facebook users in comments now. (Source: Flickr)
Earlier in the year, reports of some party or parties purporting to be Elon Musk in order to bilk Twitter users out of Bitcoin surfaced online. Now, it seems that this tactic is back, in the form of Facebook comments this time. This scheme involves replying to posts under branded names and profile pictures, asking for a certain amount of Bitcoin in return for entry into a competition for much more of the cryptocurrency. So far, The Verge and Bitmain have been reportedly imitated for this scam.

Cryptocurrencies tend to be just a big a subject of scams and con jobs as are conventional fiat currencies. They attract online strategies such as soliciting while pretending to be individuals who are famous, rich or both. Examples of these have included Elon Musk and Sheryl Sandberg in the past. A new kind of tactic involves the creation of convincing, but fake, accounts for brands such as The Verge on Facebook. 

These accounts then reply to posts on the social media platform, claiming that they have "partnered with Bitcoin" and are in a position to offer a prize of 400 Bitcoin (BTC) as a result. This is improbable enough in itself, as it equates to a prize of about US$1,500,000 (correct at the time of writing). However, the post goes on to request a surcharge of sorts of 0.2 BTC to "verify your address". This will apparently be returned 10 times over at some later date.

This gambit has also affected the mining software firm Bitmain, who has had to warn its fans about the situation on its main page. Facebook may find it more difficult to control this kind of fraud on its site, particularly as it has had to back-track on a commitment against the sale of cryptocurrency-related ads recently.  

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The comment posted to Facebook as part of the bitcoin scam. (Source: The Verge)
The comment posted to Facebook as part of the bitcoin scam. (Source: The Verge)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 12 > Scammers are mimicking reputable brands on Facebook in order to steal cryptocurrency
Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-12-19 (Update: 2018-12-19)