Ever since cryptocurrencies hit the mainstream, scammers have been creating fake profiles of important and well-known figures in the crypto industry. This has prompted genuine accounts to add extra text to their names – such as “Not giving away free Eth” – in order to add additional validity. Some of the biggest names in crypto such as Vitalik Buterin, Tim Draper, and John McAfee have had fake Twitter accounts pop up that falsely represent them. Many have resorted to gaining Verified status on Twitter – denoted by the blue tick – as a way to prove they are genuine, but some scammers are one step ahead of this.
A fake Twitter account of Verge was given the Verified tick and the genuine Verge account was not, meaning this solution isn’t perfect. The latest victim of the wave of fake social media accounts is another name that’s backing the emergence of the cryptocurrency market. Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has seen a fake Instagram account appear in his name and it’s safe to say that it’s caused some confusion.
Prime Target for Scammers
Joseph Muscat is well known as a blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiast, with his government recently passing three crypto-friendly bills into law. This in many ways makes him the perfect target for scammers. The new laws brought into fruition by Muscat and his team have made Malta one of the most popular countries for crypto companies to set up shop – attracting big names such as Binance, OKEx and – of course – BitStarz.
It is his crypto friendly attitude that has made Muscat a target for crypto scammers, who have sought to abuse his crypto-friendliness to pocket a quick buck. Scammers created a fake Instagram profile, which quickly gained a hoard of unaware followers – mostly Maltese citizens – and a few high-profile government officials – who have since unfollowed the scam account. The Maltese Prime Minister’s real account is verified with the blue tick and is run by his press team. Due to this, the army of loyal Partit Laburista supporters who followed this scam account could well have believed that this was going to be his personal account.
How to Spot a Scam
On the fake Joseph Muscat Instagram account, there was a call for followers to get in touch with Wang Wei – also another fake looking profile – and send him BTC. In return, investors were promised enormous returns within a month. However, this appears to have attracted a bit too much attention for the scammers desire and they have since removed this message.
Scams using fake accounts usually promise that if you send a small amount of BTC or ETH that you will then receive a huge amount back in return. If you spot an account making such claims, report it to the social media site and block the account – it is the best way to stay safe.
Another Major Issue for Muscat
The real Joseph Muscat and his team will most likely be getting in touch with Instagram to have this fake account removed. Scams of this nature damage an individual’s reputation and – in this case specifically could have a longer-lasting impact. Unfortunately for Muscat, he is currently embroiled in a money laundering case with Venezuelan President – Nicolas Maduro – another crypto supporter. Hopefully, he can brush off these two unsavory cases against him and return to making Malta a blockchain and crypto hub.