Business 18 July 2018

Dan Taylor

Twitter says it’s banning scammers, so why are ETH bots still running amok?

Twitter is on a banning spree, deleting fraudulent accounts in the millions. Yet there are still a significant number of Ethereum (ETH) scammers running fake and lookalike accounts on the platform.

Scammers often use accounts with lookalike names, which piggyback off crypto conversations on Twitter. Some of the scams are incredibly simple, asking users to send 5 ETH and get 50 ETH back.

While this might look obvious to more savvy readers, there is little doubt the scammers are profiting heavily from these frauds. And with many of these accounts posting the same comment, endlessly, throughout the day, some have suggested Twitter could be more proactive in eliminating this problem.

Samuel C. Woolley, of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, said Twitter isn’t doing enough to combat these scammers. In an interview with The Washington Post, Woolley said, “When you have an account tweeting over a thousand times a day, there’s no question that it’s a bot,” noting that “Twitter has to be doing more to prevent the amplification and suppression of political ideas.”

The scams often copy the names of notable figures from the cryptocurrency space, as well as celebrities, athletes, musicians and other high profile people. Recently, a tweet from Elon Musk received several responses from an account using his name that promoted an ETH giveaway.

Even Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver wasn’t spared. In Ver’s most recent tweet, a fake Binance account replied that it has an “upcoming partnership” with the noted angel investor.

According to media reports, Twitter has removed as many as 70 million fake user accounts from its site in May and June, as part of a concerted effort to crack down on frauds and scams on the social network.

Cryptocurrency scams of this kind have the potential to scam unsuspecting victims out of thousands of dollars, yet they persist with high visibility across crypto discussions and elsewhere on the site. While Twitter maintains they are cleaning up their act, it looks as though the ETH scammers are, as always, one step ahead.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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