A fraud network made up of thousands of bogus Twitter accounts has been impersonating legitimate NFT stores to swindle users out of cryptocurrency, according to research published Thursday. The report is just the latest indication that cryptocurrency-related scams still run rampant on social media despite continued warnings from consumer protection watchdogs. It also raises fresh questions about what Twitter is doing to rid its platform of fake accounts, which the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, vowed to get rid of or “die trying.” Researchers at the threat intelligence firm Nisos found that between July 26 and Oct. 11 more than 3,000 Twitter accounts produced nearly 6,000 tweets linking to sham storefronts that offered to mint new NFTs — non-fungible token — for free. Thousands of other bogus accounts amplified those tweets, according to researchers. The fake NFT stores prompted victims to share access to their wallets under the guise of minting a new NFT, allowing scammers to deplete the owner’s collection of NFTs along with other virtual currency funds. NFTs, like bitcoin, are virtual assets that exist only on the blockchain. Because NFTs are unique and unable to be recreated, they’ve gained value among collectors.
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