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The recent ‘bitcoin giveaway’ scams on Twitter and YouTube only underline secure bitcoin trading is the only bitcoin trading option

In less than 2 hours on July 15th 130 high-profile Twitter  accounts – including Apple, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Uber and even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates not to mention some well-known names in the bitcoin world - were reportedly hacked as part of a ruthless bitcoin scam .

According to Twitter and a range of other media sources hackers broke into Twitter's admin system having obtained access via socially engineering direct contact with Twitter employees. Once they were in they began to post tweets telling users that if they sent bitcoin to a specific cryptocurrency wallet , their money would be doubled and the profits returned.

As an example, Elon Musk's tweet said:

"Happy Wednesday! I am giving back Bitcoin to all of my followers. I am doubling all payments sent to the Bitcoin address below. You send 0.1 BTC, I send 0.2 BTC back!"

The offer obviously proved irresistible. Within 30 minutes more than US$110,000 has been deposited from 320 transactions before Twitter removed the messages.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, responded in a tweet:

Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We're diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened."

Aside from the CEO’s willingness to acknowledge the scam, Twitter has received a lot of praise for the speed and decisiveness with which they acted.

They immediately locked down the hacked accounts, removed the bogus tweets and disabled the ability to tweet from the affected accounts while they worked to find a fix, openly and continually updating users on progress.

And crypto scams are not restricted to Twitter.

Ajey Nagar, an Indian gamer with a YouTube channel that boasts 6.7 million subscribers, has also fallen victim. His ‘CarryisLive‘ Youtube channel was hacked by scammers on the 25th July. They posted 2 videos promoting their bitcoin giveaway scam, one of which featured an image of Elon Musk to add credibility to their message.

This is not the first time YouTube has been used to promote a bitcoin scam.  In June fake channels purporting to belong (yet again) to Elon Musk scammed users out of $150,000.

However, unlike Twitter YouTube has not acted in their users’ interest. Instead YouTube’s legal team continues to argue their platform is not liable in any way if it’s used to promote a cryptocurrency scam.

This stance has angered many including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak is in the process of suing YouTube, not only for allowing scammers to use his name and images of him without taking any action but also for allegedly profiting from the crimes by accepting advertising revenue for the space used.

As social media is such a mainstay in our lives these days, it’s easy to see how people can be misled into acting, especially when they see an influential celebrity or public figure offering them the chance to double their money almost immediately. But make no mistake this is just a the latest take on the classic ‘get rich quick’ scam.

Not only do we need to be more on our guard than ever as the hackers’ methods become more sophisticated, it is essential to remember that if you do want to trade bitcoin you need to do so by using an approved and secure platform as Pete Wood, CEO of Coinburp, explains:

Of course there is a profit to be made from cryptocurrency but that only means criminals are going to keep getting cuter. If you’re going to trade crypto make sure you’re totally confident the means of trading you plan to use is 100% safe. Never react to social media or to emails. Instead, find an established platform that can prove it has strenuously tested protocols, measures in place to tackle the growing range of external threats and state-of-the-art security including identity verification and anti-money laundering measures.”

This is a though echoed by Richard Howlett, a partner in Selachii’s internationally recognised and market-leading cryptocurrency team:

As a team that specialises in bitcoin and cryptocurrency fraud, we’ve seen every sort of scam. The key points we’ve learned are great offers never arrive via unsolicited social media posts or emails and high profile figures don’t lend their name to giveaway or ‘double your money’ offers. You should never send any form of currency to anyone until you have completed your due diligence and confirmed the trading mechanism concerned is established, reputable and trustworthy. And if you’re in any doubt, always speak to a lawyer or someone involved in the industry.”

If you have been the victim of a cryptocurrency, digital or online scam and would like to find out what you should do next to reclaim the money you’ve lost, please call us today on 020 7792 5649 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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