Why Twitter’s Crypto Scam Spam Is a Problematic Failure

Twitter users report a surge in crypto scam ads on the platform, proving Musk’s anti-bot strategy ineffective.

Bots flooding Twitter.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Elon Musk promised an end to bots after buying Twitter. 
  • Twitter’s anti-bot strategy has proven ineffective.
  • Scams are running rampant across the platform.

Since becoming the CEO of Twitter (since rebranded to “X”), Elon Musk promised to bring an end to bots. Features such as paid verification were promoted as part of the anti-bot measures. However, recent developments have cast doubt on these efforts. 

Following the anti-bot promises and supposed measures, cryptocurrency-related phishing scams have persisted and even flourished on the platform. The perceived surge in crypto scam ads, in particular, raises concerns about Twitter’s anti-bot strategy. 

Twitter’s Anti-Bot Promises Fall Short

Throughout 2023, Twitter presented numerous initiatives to curb bots through premium services. Premium services, including the $8 paid verification and the $1 yearly subscription to post and comment in some countries, were supposed to cut the reach of spam bots on the platform. However, the reality presents a stark contrast to the promises. 


Despite these measures, users on the platform have reported a surge in phishing scams, particularly those targeting the cryptocurrency sector. Many of these scams now exploit the platform’s ad system to reach a wide audience. 

Phishing scams lure users in with fraudulent offers and false promises, often including fake airdrops. The following image shows one such scam, which appeared as an ad on Twitter’s platform. The post, which received 29 thousand impressions according to Twitter’s metrics, comes from an account that paid for verification and is just one of the hundreds of others pushing the same “ad.” 

Fake giveaway phishing ad on Twitter.

Ads appear on both the users’ timelines and between the comments of users’ posts on Twitter. An ad for the same fake Starknet giveaway appeared in the comments of a post complaining about the surge in Twitter scams. Moreover, ads like these appear even in timelines of users not actively engaging with crypto or following crypto-related content. 

Twitter post complaining about scams, with a scam link in the comments.
Source: Twitter.

Scammers often use famous personalities, especially those in crypto and finance, to boost their credibility. For instance, one of the scams featured a deepfake of Solana’s Anatoly Yakovenko, promoting a fake giveaway. The post was promoted as an ad on Twitter. 

A scam featuring a deepfake of Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko.
Source: Twitter.

Scammers also often use Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, due to his cult following in certain circles. One post promotes an “AI platform” offering unrealistic investment returns. The post, promoted as an ad on Twitter, directs users to a website that steals their funds.  

A post highlighting a phishing scam impersonating Elon Musk.
Source: Twitter.

The sheer number of scams, including those impersonating the CEO Elon Musk, raises questions about Twitter’s ad moderation policy. 

Why Twitter’s Crypto Scams Are a Problem

The proliferation of crypto scams on Twitter represents a significant issue, primarily due to the sophisticated methods employed by scammers and the severe risks posed to users. 

Once a user engages with these ads, they are typically directed to phishing websites meticulously designed to mimic authentic platforms. Here, users might be prompted to enter sensitive information, like wallet keys or personal data, to secure their spot in a giveaway. Instead, users inadvertently interact with malicious smart contracts programmed to siphon all funds from their wallets. 

Beyond the financial losses, the scams also threaten the security and privacy of individuals. The deceptive tactics employed by scammers can lead to data breaches and a loss of personal security, impacting users’ overall trust in digital platforms.

Finally, the surge in crypto scams on Twitter also paints a negative image of the crypto world for non-crypto users. The deceptive ads and scams are not limited to users actively engaged with or interested in cryptocurrency. This means that, for some, their first contact with crypto might be through a scam. The prevalence of scams, therefore, tends to confirm the pre-existing negative biases about crypto, especially among those unfamiliar with the industry. 

While some have suggested that X could address the issue by creating a community-run ad-review tribunal, similar to the popular “community notes” feature, the prospect would be significant given the sheer volume of bot-driven “ads.”

One way or another, Twitter must invest more in ad moderation or, at minimum, install better control against bot accounts, as promised during its transition. The ease with which scammers can access social media’s advertisement system is a danger to the platform’s users and the crypto industry on several levels and must be addressed.  

On the Flipside

  • Due to Twitter’s potentially catastrophic financial troubles, scrutinizing advertisements that fill the platform’s coffers may not be a priority. 
  • Phishing scam ads, crypto or otherwise, are plaguing other major platforms, not just Twitter. YouTube is having similar issues with scammers buying ads on its platform. 

Why This Matters

The rampant phishing scams on Twitter are not just a concern for the platform and its users. They also highlight security issues for users of all digital platforms, especially those that use crypto. The scams discourage potential users from using cryptocurrencies due to financial risks and privacy concerns. 

Read more about phishing scams in 2023: 
324,000 Crypto Investors Fell Prey to Phishing Scams in 2023

Read more about how a strong economy is impacting the crypto space: 
Bitcoin Dips on Strong Jobs Report, ETF News Still Dominates 

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.