Scammers hacked into the official Twitter account of the Indian Embassy in Oman, replaced the avatar with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and used the reply function to spam users with fake XRP giveaway phishing links.
At the time of publication, the Twitter account OmanEmbassy_Ind show Several retweets matched Garlinghouse, seemingly to make the campaign look legitimate. Hacked accounts have been responding to tweets with the hashtag XRP, encouraging users to sign up for a fake giveaway of 100 million tokens — worth over $42 million at $0.42 in XRP.
Given a similar fake giveaway, the hacker behind the fake Ripple XRP CEO, identified as “Galringhouse”, may have been responsible for breaching the Twitter account of Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX. CoinDCX reported Tuesday that it had restored access to its accounts. While the cryptocurrency exchange’s Twitter account has more than 230,000 followers, the Indian Embassy in Oman showed only 4,119 at the time of publication.
Important update. pic.twitter.com/RTeIZ5EzRK
— CoinDCX: Making cryptocurrencies accessible to Indians (@CoinDCX) September 20, 2022
Caroline Pham of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission caused a stir on social media on Monday after she posted a photo of her standing with Garlinghouse at Ripple Labs’ offices. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s case alleging that Ripple’s XRP sales violated securities laws may be imminent after both parties filed a motion for summary judgment on Saturday.
related: Hackers may be responsible for removing $4.8M from cryptocurrency exchange ZB.com: PeckShield
Since the platform was created, many hackers have used social media to try to scam unsuspecting users out of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Using well-known figures in the cryptocurrency space — like Garlinghouse, Elon Musk, etc. — is a common tactic. In June, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reported that scammers stole roughly $1 billion in cryptocurrency from 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, with half of the cryptocurrency-related scams coming from social media platforms.