Thousands of fraudulent Twitter accounts have flooded the social media platform in the past days, fooling people into paying small donations to specific crypto wallets.
Utilising the oldest trick in the book, the online scammers pretend to be a recognised figure of authority, offering big payouts for small initial investments.
The scammers have so far mirrored the accounts of President Trump and Mr Musk as well as those of cyber security tycoon John McAfee and Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin.
One such scammer message posted in response to a genuine Elon Musk tweet, reads: “Hi guys! I’m donating 250 Ethereum to the ETH community!
“First 250 transactions with 0.2 ETH sent to the address below will receive 1.0 ETH in the address the 0.2 ETH came from.
“The promotion will last 24 hours! Hurry!”
Since all transactions on the Ethereum blockchain are public, a quick wallet address search reveals that this scammer has already amassed more than $4,000 worth of Ethereum through the small 0.2 ETH donations.
These scam messages always pop up in response to genuine tweets, giving a false impression of them being part of the original thread.
Josh Emerson, a self-proclaimed Twitter bot hunter has exposed over 1,200 of the scammer accounts by Thursday alone.
He told Express.co.uk: “It looks like just a run of the mill scam.
“All of the new accounts are impersonating larger crypto personalities and then are boosted by bots.”
“As far as I can tell it’s a new thing over the last few days.
“Looks like it started around February 1.”
Thankfully some of the accounts have already been taken down but a large number of them are still online, and Mr Emerson said they are sprouting faster than Twitter can delete them.
Twitter users have now been urged to stay on the lookout for the fraudulent tweets and thankfully the telltale signs of a scam are easy to spot.
Popular online hacker @TinkerSac warned: “Be Advised: ‘Jita Scams’ now hitting Twitter.
“Scam poses as verified tweeps, responds to a popular tweet, asks ‘followers’ to send a small amount of cryptocurrency in return for a larger amount sent back.
“Scam uses ‘typo spoof’ and has common language. Folks are falling for it.”
Though at first glance the tweets might appear to be genuine, they all use badly botched variants of the of the verified @elonmusk Twitter handle. These include accounts such as @elonmusk_, @EL00NMUSK, @eellon_musk, @ElloonMusk and various other similar alterations.
Another sure sign of spotting the scammers is the famous blue tick next to the Twitter handle, which is a sure sign that the account you are dealing with is genuine.
Unfortunately many have already fallen prey to the merciless thieves.
One Twitter user, LoRDsAME, replied to Mr Musk’s actual account with the following plea: “@elonmusk what’s going on brother?
“I found the link and sent 0.6 ethereum to the address which is about $487.69 what happens now?”