The transaction occurred when someone sent the Bitcoin to an address linked to “teslafreegift.com,” a site registered this October which is not connected to the official Tesla company.
The address has received over 0.9 Bitcoin ($10.170) from other victims and holds over $18,000 worth of Bitcoin as of press time. A total of 24 payments have been made to the address with an average transaction of $787, as tracked by Scam Alert.
The modus operandi is usually as follows: The scammer builds out a fake Twitter account and latches on the comments of the tweets put out by popular Twitter users. The scammer’s comments are usually a variation of “send 1 Bitcoin, receive 2 back,” and in some cases, are immediately retweeted or commented on with positive feedback by other scammer-controlled accounts to boost their legitimacy. The intend is, however, never an act of benevolence.
Twitter is a popular hunting ground for scammers. Earlier this year, the social media giant was targeted by a hacker—allegedly a Florida teen who gained access to Twitter’s “god mode” admin panel—who took over 25 high-profile accounts, such as those belonging to politicians, celebrities, and crypto entrepreneurs, and tweeted out a similar giveaway scheme. The hacker made away with over $120,000 at the time.
Twitter has since ramped up its security measures and even revamped safety features for high-profile accounts ahead of the 2020 US Elections, in a bid to avoid any similar occurrences in the future.
Still, the giveaways remain and the scams keep running.