In the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency, scams and fraudulent schemes are unfortunately all too common. Recently, a crypto scam worth a purported $25 million emerged on the social media platform previously known as Twitter, and it serves as yet another cautionary tale about the risks associated with high-profile accounts like Elon Musk's.
The scam took advantage of one of the hottest topics in the cryptocurrency space at the time: the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). This trust had gained significant attention due to a recent court victory that hinted at its potential conversion into a traditional financial investment vehicle known as an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).
The modus operandi of the scam was simple: a fraudulent account, @Grayscale_FND, claimed that $25 million worth of a new token named GBTC (the same ticker symbol as the real $13 billion trust) would be distributed to individuals who visited a specified website. This promise, however, was nothing more than a ruse.
What made this scam particularly convincing was the fact that the fake account, @Grayscale_FND, sported a blue checkmark, a symbol that once indicated a verified account on Twitter. Previously, this verification badge signified that an account had undergone some level of scrutiny and vetting before receiving the coveted blue checkmark. However, since Elon Musk's acquisition and rebranding of Twitter as "X," the blue checkmark now simply signifies that the account owner can afford an $8 monthly subscription fee. This change has inadvertently led to a proliferation of crypto scams using blue-checked X accounts.
Crucially, the legitimate @Grayscale X account possesses a gold checkmark, a symbol reserved for genuine companies and official organizations. To discern between the real and the fake, users on X must be aware of this key distinction. Unfortunately, many may still fall victim to scams like @Grayscale_FND due to the deceptive use of the real Grayscale's logo in the fraudulent account's profile.
Interestingly, a CoinDesk journalist discovered @Grayscale_FND's posts after receiving spam messages related to the scam on X. However, @Grayscale_FND does not accept direct messages from accounts it does not follow, making it nearly impossible to reach the individuals responsible for the scam.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and skepticism when navigating the cryptocurrency landscape, especially on social media platforms like Elon Musk's Twitter. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, users must remain cautious and verify the legitimacy of offers and claims, as scams can easily take advantage of the rapidly changing digital landscape.