The verified Twitter accounts that were caught up in yesterday's Bitcoin scam

Clothes retailer Matalan appeared to have had its Twitter account targeted today by scammers

Clothes retailer Matalan appeared to have had its Twitter account targeted today by scammers

The latest big profile scam saw a number of popular, verified Twitter accounts being hacked to promote an ad using Elon Musk's face and name.

British retailer Matalan, film distributor Pathé United Kingdom and U.S. publisher Pantheon Books were just some of the accounts taken over by hackers.

To add greater legitimacy to the account, the scammers would show up in Musk's mentions, acting as if it was Musk who was Tweeting.

The hacker promised to double the investment of anyone who sends a small amount of Bitcoin to the specified wallet.

Often scammers have used other compromised accounts to respond to the initial post, claiming they've received a bitcoin payment in a move created to trick users into thinking the scheme is legitimate.

A spokesperson for Twitter said that while it "doesn't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons", it has "substantially improved how we tackle cryptocurrency scams on the platform".

By using accounts with Twitter's own verification mark (a blue tick), it makes the account appear legitimate at first glance and thus may fool the reader into thinking it is official.

Elon Musk's fake account promises to distribute 10,000 BTC (64.1 million USD) for the users but they have to deposit the money first to "prove that they are serious".

A little later, the film company returned access to the account and deleted posts related to the distribution of cryptocurrency.

The practice screams "it's a scam", as it is asking for money to be sent, and is also littered with spelling mistakes.

The scam is made to seem more trustworthy as various other compromised accounts reply to the tweet claiming that it works. These included verified accounts of blogger Sarah Scoop, Swansea City AFC Ladies and boxer Rayton Okwiri. The tweet was not only targeted towards the verified account's followers, but it also managed to enter the timeline of everyday users.

Hackers reportedly compromised several different accounts, including those of film production firm Pathe U.K. and US politician Frank Pallone Jr.

The Pathe UK Twitter account was hacked this morning by an unknown third party. The fake accounts then leveraged Musk's "authority" for bitcoin scams via promoted tweets.

In October, Musk caused a stir in the cryptoverse upon tweeting out "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?" in a longer, meme-filled Twitter thread.

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