Giveaway scams rank among the most widespread forms of cryptocurrency scams. These scams primarily target users on popular social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter, employing social engineering tactics to persuade individuals into sending cryptocurrency to scammers.
So how do these scams operate? Hackers gain control of or impersonate prominent public figures (e.g. Elon Musk) or companies, presenting themselves as generous providers of crypto giveaways. To participate, they require participants to send a certain amount of cryptocurrency to the advertised address. Often, they promise to send back double the amount sent.
The scammers' objective is to pressure victims into making hasty decisions, creating a sense of urgency by making them believe they could miss out on a tremendous opportunity. Specific cryptocurrency amounts are often mentioned, such as "10,000 BTC giveaway." Fake accounts are employed to leave comments, creating the illusion that people are actually receiving the promised crypto.
On platforms like Twitter, the fake giveaway accounts may even possess a blue verified checkmark, lending an appearance of credibility. Additionally, bots reply to the tweet, claiming the authenticity of the giveaway and boasting about receiving free crypto.
On YouTube, livestream videos often feature celebrities or company representatives discussing unrelated topics, while the comment section is filled with bots asserting they received the giveaway.