Bankman-Fried deepfake lures FTX customers into giveaway scam

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A Twitter account impersonating the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), scammed customers into believing they could receive compensation through a fake giveaway, Vice reports.

The account had a blue checkmark, which under Twitter’s new blundering leader Elon Musk has created ripe opportunities for scammers. What used to signal an account’s authenticity has now become an $8-a-month status symbol that anyone can purchase.

“Hello everyone. As you know our FTX exchange is going bankrupt. But I hasten to inform all users that you should not panic,” said a deepfake version of SBF in a video posted by the fake account.

“As compensation for the loss we have prepared a giveaway for you in which you can double your cryptocurrency. To do this, just go to the site”

The fake website features a photo of FTX’s curly-haired founder. “At this difficult time, we will give you the opportunity to get 5,000 BTC or 50,000 ETH.”

Image via Vice.

“Send the desired number of coins to the special address below. Once we receive your translation, we will immediately send the requested amount back to you. You can only take part in our giveaway once. Hurry up!” 

According to Vice, while the website displays fake transactions to display an air of authenticity, the linked bitcoin address has received no deposits. The ether address holds just $1,000 worth.

The Twitter account has since been suspended. However, the platform’s piling security troubles coupled with the persistence of scammers suggest that the SBF deepfake could appear again.

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