Vertcoin's Twitter account has been compromised in an attempt to facilitate a cryptocurrency giveaway scam.
On May 1, near 20:13 UTC, the account posted that it was "pleased to announce" a bitcoin giveaway, mimicking other Twitter scams which have promised high rewards to followers in exchange for small amounts of cryptocurrencies, usually bitcoin and ethereum.
The hijacking was especially notable given that the account has a Twitter "blue check," meaning that those behind the account (prior to the attack) have been verified by the social media company.
Almost as soon as the account issued the fraudulent tweet, James Lovejoy, the project's lead developer, disclosed the attack and said that Twitter Support had been contacted. He also warned that any giveaways offered would be fake.
Similarly, a moderator of the cryptocurrency's Discord server warned users to "not believe or share anything you see posted there until confirmed here that we have regained control."
Other accounts have been targeted by would-be scammers hoping to use publicly notable accounts in order to dupe crypto-holders.
In one notable incident, filmmaker Seif Elsbei's account was hacked, which was then used to impersonate half a dozen different startups, developers and exchanges over a three-day period.
Image via Vertcoin Twitter; Twitter image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.