How Does a Twitter Crypto Scam Work?

If you’ve ever been on crypto-Twitter, tweeted regarding cryptocurrency of any kind, or posted a link to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, or any of the other cryptos, you’ve probably received a scam response or in your inbox.


You’ve probably wondered, “How does this crypto scam work on Twitter?”

Well, wonder no more as we go through how one of the most common crypto scams on Twitter works from start to finish.


What is a Crypto Twitter Scam?

Numerous cryptocurrency scams are circulating on Twitter. They vary in complexity, but the most common are usually low-profile scams that can be pumped out in volume, hoping to catch at least one or two people per day. And in the volume you see them versus the number of Twitter users, they probably work to some degree.

Some common crypto scams on Twitter are:

  • Impersonating verified accounts, such as crypto mind leaders, project leaders, developers, popular projects, and so on.
  • Honeypot scam promises unfathomable rewards for performing basic tasks, but user has to deposit crypto first.
  • Crypto Giveaways: You’ve won a big prize at an exchange you’ve never heard of!
  • Fake airdrops for non-existent tokens, phishing links, hoax websites and landing pages, and so on.

No doubt other cryptocurrency scams exist on Twitter. However, these are the three you will encounter the most as they are usually the easiest to handle.

How Does a Crypto Twitter Scam Work?

If these scams are so well known, how can the scammers pull them off?

It’s a good question and one that I’ve brought to fruition after receiving a barrage of scam messages in my Twitter inbox recently. The following details how the crypto giveaway scam works in full.

1. You receive a scam message in your Twitter inbox

First of all, you will receive a message in your inbox stating that you have won an amount of cryptocurrency. Scammers usually use popular and valuable cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum rather than something more obscure that might not pique the target’s interest.

Would you believe it in this case? I got lucky and won 0.51 BTC which is about $10,000 at the time of writing. bonanza!

2. You go to the Exchange to redeem your code

In the previous screenshot you can see that I also received a code. You bring the code to the crypto exchange in the message, create an account and then redeem your code. Once redeemed, the exchange will deposit the established amount directly into your account.

Not knowing exactly what nasty things could be waiting for this fully legit crypto exchange, I ran the rest of this process on a secure virtual machine, just in case, using a temporary email address, false information, and so on.

The crypto exchange looks quite legit and it’s easy to see why scams like this are bringing people in. As you can see in the screenshots below, entering the referral program code sent via Twitter results in just under 0.51 Bitcoin appearing in my account.

3. You are trying to withdraw your cryptocurrency

With the Bitcoin now in your account, you can try withdrawing it in a separate Bitcoin wallet. After all, who keeps their Bitcoin on an exchange?

First, this crypto exchange asks you to verify your email address. Since this is a scam site, it’s more of a procedural process to make you believe it’s real, rather than something necessary for the withdrawal to work. But if you use a real email address, it’s just another piece of information to hold onto for another scam.

Then you go ahead and enter your Bitcoin wallet details and the status will change to Pending. So far, so good – you’ll just have to wait a while for the withdrawal to be confirmed. This alone should make you realize that the exchange you are dealing with is not quite right. Crypto exchanges typically process transactions immediately and do not ask you to wait for an administrator to confirm.

4. Scam: Deposit Bitcoin to Confirm Your Withdrawal

This is where the scam really takes place. Your pending Bitcoin withdrawal switches to failed, and the only way to solve the problem is to deposit 0.02 BTC or 0.3 ETH. Depositing the required amount of crypto will verify your account and allow the site administrator to confirm (not) your withdrawal.

As you can probably guess, once you send Bitcoin or Ethereum to the crypto exchange, you will never see it again and the Twitter scam is complete.

Remember, always use a reputable crypto exchange to trade cryptocurrency.

5. Optional Scams: You Provide Your Personal Information

On this particular fake crypto exchange, there was also an option to provide your personal information to verify your account.

The information requested varied, but could be a photo of your driver’s license, passport, social security number, etc. Once uploaded, you don’t know how this private information would be used, but you can probably guess it won’t be beneficial to you.

How to spot crypto scams on Twitter

While there are countless types of crypto scams floating around on Twitter, luckily most of us will only come across the most obvious versions. That is, unless you’re packing serious cash, have a huge Twitter following or something like that, you’re unlikely to be the specific target of a scam and only come across what’s being spammed all over the network.

This is a good thing. It makes it easier to spot most crypto scams that come your way.

  1. it’s too good to be true. Why would someone send you a huge amount of Bitcoin or Ethereum without warning?
  2. You have never entered a competition. How did you win a contest prize from a website you’ve never heard of?
  3. The website is fictitious or barely known. The website that is contacting you has zero followers, it is an unknown exchange, and so on.
  4. The Twitter account is brand new. The account you contacted was created yesterday and has three followers, but is about to offer you a ton of crypto.
  5. The Twitter account is pretending to be someone else. Scammers often use accounts that have been spotted to look like someone who is famous. Alternatively, the account can pretend to be Twitter support or a crypto exchange support account.
  6. It’s a stolen account. If the account is not mocked to look like someone famous or reputable, it can be stolen and used to scam people.

These are not the only ways to spot crypto scam accounts on Twitter, but it covers most of them.

Beware of crypto scams on Twitter

Spotting crypto scams on Twitter doesn’t have to be a challenge. Often, scammers easily make themselves known and offer insane Bitcoin payments for fictitious contests on crypto exchanges you’ve never heard of.

Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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