X Twitter logo on black background

X is promoting a wave of cryptocurrency scams through advertisements, allowing cybercriminals to promote malicious websites to trick users on the platform.

The malicious Twitter ads, now known as X, involve links to phishing websites, “pump and dump” schemes, crypto drainers, fake airdrops, and more. This leads to threat actors stealing crypto for unsuspecting X users.

As BleepingComputer reports, the rapid increase in malicious ads being promoted on X has sparked cybersecurity researcher MalwareHunterTeam to post examples of crypto scams to raise awareness of the ongoing threat.

Many of the scams come from verified users, who try to trick users by looking “official.” Of course, the blue tick is now part of a subscription plan, meaning anyone can have a verified account.

Since X shows ads based on user’s activity, these scam ads are plaguing those interested in cryptocurrency. Many users are voicing their concerns, with one user stating: “Every single ad I am seeing on X is a scam link targeted at crypto to drain peoples wallets.”

Recently, anti-scam platform Scam Sniffer discovered MS Drainer, a crypto wallet drainer, had been found in nearly 60% of X phishing ads. The report said almost $59 million from over 63,000 users had been stolen over the past nine months.

Notably, X Chairman Elon Musk had previously noted that YouTube had been seeing “nonstop scam ads.” Now, X has the same problem.

Whether X has plans to counter these malicious crypto scam ads is unknown. Twitter’s ad revenue was projected to drop to $2.5 billion in 2023, a 50% cut compared to 2022.

Stay away from crypto ads on X

With cybercriminals disguised as verified users promoting malicious ads and X users receiving an obnoxious amount of ads, it can be hard to get away from these scams.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid any ads on X. Often, they offer crypto opportunities that are too good to be true – and they virtually always are.

Phishing is on the rise, with people receiving everything from Amazon scams to sextortion scams. That’s why cybersecurity companies are developing new tools to protect users online.

Cybersecurity solutions company Norton introduced Norton Genie, a free real-time AI-powered scam detector available for iPhone and PC, and it lets you know if texts, emails, websites, and social media posts are scams.

The new scam detection tool uses Norton cybersecurity data and AI that’s “trained on millions of scam messages” to identify scam messages, emails, links or posts received online. It aims to make it easier for users to spot scams, phishing attacks and fake websites.

The best antivirus software will also stop phishing in its tracks. Many high-standard AV protections, like Norton 360, offer near-perfect scores when detecting and protecting against malware, meaning even complex malicious software can’t go unnoticed on social media platforms like Twitter.

Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from the mischievous world of online security to washing machines designed for earbuds. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for laptops into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. When he's not checking out the latest devices and all things tech, he can be found swimming laps, watching terrible shark movies, and trying to find time to game.  Previous Editor at Laptop Mag and News Editor at Time Out Dubai, specialising in food culture, nightlife events, gaming, tech and entertainment.

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