Scammers impersonating high-profile figures in the crypto industry have been rampant on Twitter for years but recently began migrating to Instagram as well. Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has been battling with an impersonator on Instagram for months, while Gemini founder Cameron Winklevoss barely managed to shut down a similar scam on the platform.
Crypto scams on Twitter are passé
For the past 10 years, scams have almost become synonymous with crypto. From lowly Ponzi schemes to high-profile exit scams conducted by major exchanges, the crypto industry has seen its fair share of crooked deals and sucker games.
But, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars lost this way, one of the most lucrative and easiest ways to get crypto rich is still the textbook impersonation scam. As Twitter has always been the go-to platform for crypto dialogue, where first-time traders had a voice equally as loud as a founder of a multi-billion dollar company, impersonation scams thrived there.
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, and Tesla’s own Elon Musk seemed to be the two favorite targets for scammers—fake verified accounts impersonating the two raked in a considerable amount of money in the few days they managed to stay online.
However, as Twitter became more saturated with this kind of fraud, the users on the platform became more diligent and began flagging fake accounts.
To combat the lack of gullible users willing to interact and ultimately invest in these frauds, scammers began migrating to Instagram.
Instagram’s slow response to scammers angers users
With crypto content being relatively new on Instagram, scammers saw an opportunity to impersonate high-profile figures from the crypto industry. One of the first people whose fake accounts popped up on the platform was Charlie Lee,