Elon Musk Tweets About Ethereum Scammers, Vitalik Responds
Jul 9, 2018
Tech superstar Elon Musk tweeted about Ethereum for the first time today, but it was bittersweet for Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. Musk’s tweet was not about Ethereum itself, but rather Ethereum scambots.
I want to know who is running the Etherium scambots! Mad skillz …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2018
Buterin went on to plead with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey (@Jack) and the Ethereum community to develop a scam filtering solution to combat twitter scambots.
I do wish @elonmusk‘s first tweet about ethereum was about the tech rather than the twitter scambots……..@jack help us please? Or someone from the ETH community make a layer 2 scam filtering solution, please? https://t.co/biVRshZmne
— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) July 9, 2018
Even the scambots joined the exchange to the amusement of some.
Of course, Twitter scambots are nothing new. Mashable reported on Ethereum scammers targeting Elon Musk and other prominent Twitter accounts in February.
The scambots hijack a normal tweet or announcement pretending to be that person and add replies promoting their scams. Other scam accounts then join in to support the tweet. As Mashable points out, the webpages on the scammer’s links will, and indeed do, take Ethereum from unwitting coin owners.
Another noteworthy scambot accident happened last week, when Actor William Shatner outed a Twitter impersonator for promoting a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Shatner is a spokesperson for blockchain firm the Solar Alliance Energy and was probably targeted for his celebrity status.
BTW another fake me pushing a pump and dump crypto Ponzi scheme: @wiliiamshatners
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 2, 2018
Speaking to the Verge in March, Twitter promised to take action against the scammers:
“We’re aware of this form of manipulation and are proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner.”
Buterin joked in February on Twitter that if users sent him 0.1 Ether, he would send them nothing. He was then targeted by scammers intending to impersonate him by using handles like @VitalikButter. Buterin eventually changed his own Twitter name by adding “Not giving away ETH.”
According to the U.S Federal Trade Commission, around $542 million dollars was lost in cryptocurrency related fraud in the first two months of 2018 alone.