Earlier in this month, researchersat DuoSecurity revealed the results of a study analysing millions of public Twitter profiles, revealinga very complicatednetwork of dummy accounts,referred to asa botnetemployed for fake crypto giveaway scam by impersonating high profilepeopleandunnaturallyboosting their tweet rankings, likes and retweets.
A tweet posted by Pope Francis earlier had one suchunnaturallyboosted tweet. The tweet is froma replicahandle, “@_Poontifex,” designed to mislead casual viewers into thinking thatit’sthe importantpope’s handled account “@Pontifex.”
Unsurprisingly, the tweet is promoting adeceitful fakecrypto giveaway:
Another dummy account, branded “@RicardoStark7,” thenreplied tothe tweet witha fake excitement asother bots retweeted andlikedthe fake pope handle’s tweet to thetopof the replies tothe originalpope’s tweets.
Toa regularTwitter user,it appearsas ifPope Francis has replied his own tweet, advertising some giveaways,thisishowthe scam operates.
Several Twitter accounts with many followersaretargeted in this fashion as seen earlier in thepast also. As reported by Etherdesk earlier, Elon Musk and Vitalik Buterin, were also affected by such scams in the past including the Vertcoin twitter account that was actually hijacked to spread a fake ‘ETH giveaway’ scam.
As for now, the only thing Twitter users can do to protect themselves against these free crypto claims is to stay alert even if the posts are verified.