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Elon Musk’s Twitter Targeted: Beware of the $25 Million Crypto Scam

Andrew Throuvalas
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Adobe / lesslemon

After 10 months of Elon Musk’s rule, crypto scams on X (formerly Twitter) are still thriving.

One of the platform’s latest, more prolific scams came in the form of a fake ‘GBTC’ token giveaway. Scammers feigned association with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust – the world’s largest Bitcoin fund – repurposing its GBTC ticker for the purported $25 million token distribution. 

To claim their tokens, the scam post invited readers to visit a web page resembling Grayscale’s own site. It was posted by the account handle @Grayscale_FND, an account bearing a strong resemblance to the real company in name and profile, but which is completely unrelated to the actual fund.

The post has since been spotted and removed, but not before gathering up to 1,500 likes. Replies on the post were turned off – a common method used by social media scammers to prevent the community from alerting victims to their scheme.

The New Checkmark Problem

Adding to the ruse is the fake account’s blue checkmark – a badge indicating an account’s premium status on X. Before Musk, blue checks were reserved for popular influencers, celebrities, and organizations as a way of verifying real accounts from imposters.

Since the billionaire took over, however, anyone has been able to secure the badge by paying $8 per month, opening the floodgates to scammers looking to perfectly imitate real groups. When Musk bought Twitter, he promised to “defeat the spam bots” which are notoriously prevalent within the online crypto scene.

Still, there are ways to tell the difference: The company’s real account, @Grayscale, contains a gold verification badge, which is reserved for official businesses and is far more costly than the premium badge.

A look at the fake account’s posts also showed a long list of reposts from the official Grayscale account. A retweeted post is indicated at the top of the post on one’s account feed.

Grayscale’s popularity for scams is understandable given the company’s resounding victory over the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in court last month. Since the win, the discount of its GBTC shares compared to the fund’s underlying Bitcoin value has shrunk from 25% to 17%.