A fraud tracker says verified Twitter accounts were taken over to send bitcoin spam to Elon Musk’s followers, ahead of his ‘SNL’ appearance

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk

  • Verified Twitter accounts changed their profiles to “SNL” and posted a bitcoin giveaway website.
  • The spam targeted followers of Tesla CEO Elon Musk ahead of his hosting gig tonight.
  • The accounts included Jorge Taiana, an Argentine senator with about 114,000 followers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A series of verified Twitter accounts posted bitcoin spam targeting followers of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to a fraud tracker.

It comes ahead of his much-discussed hosting stint on “Saturday Night Live.”

In a series of Saturday morning tweets, the users behind the account @MalwareHunterTeam posted screenshots of verified accounts that seemed to have been taken over.

“Another verified account is being used to spread SNL / Musk themed scam,” the @MalwareHunterTeam wrote each time.

In each instance, the verified accounts changed their profile image to match that of the official “Saturday Night Live” account. Their account names were also changed to “SNL,” though their Twitter handles and bios appeared unaltered.

The altered accounts replied to tweets from Musk’s account. They instructed users to “join” a website that would distribute 5,000 bitcoin, worth about $295 million at Saturday morning’s bitcoin price.

An Elon Musk bitcoin website screenshot
The Medium post linked from the verified Twitter accounts.

The website, hosted on Medium, included a picture of Musk in a tuxedo. It linked out to a “competition” website that included a Tesla logo. It asked users to send “from 0.02 to 5 BTC to the address below and get from .20 to 50 BTC back!”

The altered accounts included the verified account of Jorge Taiana, a senator in Argentina, with about 114,000 followers.

Senador Nacional Jorge Taiana SNL Spam Takeover Twitter Account
Argentina Senador Nacional Jorge Taiana’s account during the “Saturday Night Live” takeover.

Insider has reached out to Twitter, Taiana, and MalwareHunterTeam for comment.

At least one post by an altered account included a claim that 100 million Dogecoin would be distributed to users who clicked through to the bitcoin website.

“We are ready to present the event we announced on our show today,” the message read, purporting to come from the official “SNL” account. “We want to thank our supporters and also help crypto adoption. 100 000 000 DOGE will be distributed among everyone who takes part in this event.”

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