It seems that Twitter is finally doing something about those cryptocurrency scams that keep circulating on its platform. Several fake accounts that post such tweets are now being blocked in what appears to be swift cleanup campaign. However, the irony is that a number of genuine accounts are also being banned in the process, and Twitterati is going berserk over it.
In last few days a number of fake Twitter accounts impersonating popular figures of cryptocurrency markets have been banned. However, besides those shady accounts a number of accounts belonging to well-known industry influencers were also banned, which included the official accounts of Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, the account of Brooke Maller (@bitcoinmom), Neeraj Agrawal (@NeerajKA) and many others. And while losses of Kraken and Neeraj were temporary ones, others (i.e. Brooke Maller) have not been that lucky.
Brooke’s account, according to her, was shadow banned (a type of ban in which the account becomes unavailable to other users without the owner of account coming to know). This prompted angry reactions from a number of her followers. Describing the experience she herself told to CoinDesk:
“People just started DMing me that they couldn’t see my tweets in threads. It would say ‘tweet unavailable.’ Others said they aren’t getting notifications when I tweet. But no word from Twitter. There is some really weird shit going on for crypto Twitter people right now. A rash of permanent bans and suspensions.”
What’s more interesting is the fact that not just users but cryptocurrency exchanges also attracted some ‘ban-love’ from Twitter. Japanese exchange Kraken was one of them. And while its account was restored after a while, the company said that it was strange to see such a thing being done by Twitter to them as they’ve always been one of those industry leaders who warned people against scam copycat accounts.
Another major crypto market influencer banned by Twitter was Neeraj Agrawal. Neeraj is director of communications at Washington D.C. based think-tank CoinCenter. According to him he also had trouble with his account, but his account was reinstated later. A number of other users who promote the Ripple token have also spoken about bans on their accounts.
Cryptocurrency Fraud Growing on Twitter
While Twitter’s actions seem to be coming in a knee-jerk manner, the problem of scammers impersonating influencer accounts to pull people into their cryptocurrency scams is growing from a rapid pace. Many threads about these scams begin with some influencer posting a tweet, then a similar shady account jumping into conversation with some free cryptocurrency offer. The offer would, however, require an initial amount to be sent to a listed wallet address first of all. And you can expect what happens after the initial amount is sent – NOTHING. No crypto coins are received in turn.
To make these schemes look legit a number of other accounts also join into conversations suggesting that they received their payouts. And that’s why a number of people fall prey to these scammers.
Recent reports have also suggested that scammers are now using URL shorteners to hide their wallet addresses from company’s spam detection systems. Perhaps that’s why company has now started a mass cleanup campaign against this BS.