Verified Twitter profile hacked and used for multiple scams
The verified Twitter profile for a filmmaker has been hacked and used to trick users out of cryptocurrency.
The latest scam uses a hijacked account belonging to freelance film director and producer Seif Sbei (@seifsbei).
The profile, which includes the coveted blue check verification, was used to impersonate six different cryptocurrency accounts.
The fraudulent account was recently targetting users of cryptocurrency Verge during their Pornhub announcements.
Shortly after, the scammers moved on to con Bitfinex followers.
After targetting Bitfinex users, the account appears to have gone dark before being recovered by its owner.
This activity is the latest example of how the “blue checkmark” scam is infecting crypto-Twitter.
Chasing the hype
According to a report by The Next Web on Wednesday, the verified Twitter account, which boasts over 83,000 real followers, was posing as the official account of Verge’s developers.
The cryptocurrency was making headlines Tuesday with the announcement that Pornhub would accept it for online payments.
The scammer in control of the @seifsbei saw an opportunity by posing as the Verge team.
Verge’s real account (@vergecurrency) actually lacks the Twitter verified checkmark, making it confusing for other users.
Twitter verified accounts have the option to change their account’s display name without risking their “blue check” status.
Due to this loophole, the @seifsbei account was able to adopt the display name vergecurreǹcy.
They then retweet posts from the actual Verge account, making it looks legitimate at a glance.
Shortly after, the hacked account switched to impersonating the exchange Bitfinex using the name Ƀitfinex.
A search on Google reveals that the account was previously masquerading as other accounts.
Before posing as the Verge team or Bitfinex, the profile was impersonating another cryptocurrency exchange, Bittrex (as Ƀittrex).
According to The Next Web, the hacker was also using the account to pose as Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.
Seif Sbei announced on his Facebook page that he was attempting to recover his hacked account.
The handle now appears to have been recovered.
The name and images were removed before being returned to the owner’s real information.