UK Retail Giant Falls Victim To Scam Involving Bitcoin

The UK’s largest supermarket chain company, Tesco, fell victim to hackers who took over the retail chain’s Twitter account and used it to promote a scam involving Bitcoin. The account, which has over half a million followers, was hacked by scammers who seem to be fans of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The hackers used a picture of Bill Gates as an avatar after they took over the account and changed Tesco’s twitter handle to ‘Billgatesmsc.’.

Tweets purporting to advertise Bitcoin and promote its rise on the crypto markets were sent from the hacked account. One of the deleted tweets sent out read “Bitcoin is on the rise again! One day, it will without doubt replace fiat currencies”. The tweets sent out were similar to tweets sent out in previous scams involving Ethereum last year. The hackers proceeded to provide a Bitcoin address promising users that if they sent any bitcoin to the given address, they would receive double the amount of cryptocurrency they would have sent. It was later confirmed that the Bitcoin address provided by the hackers did not receive any funds.

Cryptocurrency Scams On The Increase

The scam seems to have been timed to coincide with Bitcoin’s recent performance on the markets. The scam occurred after Bitcoin surpassed the $10,000 mark and began trading at its highest since December 2017. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading just above $12,000. The cryptocurrency has generated renewed interest and conversation around itself and the scammers seem to have been aiming to take advantage of this. In the same way, investors and traders are keeping a keen eye on Bitcoin and its performance, scammers seem to be also taking a renewed firm interest in the currency.

Online crypto trading is riddled with scammers and it is imperative that those who possess cryptocurrencies or plan on buying them exercise caution and due diligence in their business. The nature of cryptocurrencies makes them an attractive avenue for scammers and fraudsters. Cryptocurrencies are very difficult to trace and scammers seek to take advantage of this trait. Riviera Beach City Council recently fell victim to hackers who proceeded to demand over $600,000 worth of Bitcoin as payment. The Swedish government’s official account was also hacked earlier this year and tweets purporting that the country had changed its official currency to Bitcoin were sent out.

The Bottom Line

There have been a number of scams and other fraudulent activity executed using cryptocurrencies. The recent price rise of Bitcoin is likely to increase the general public’s interest in the cryptocurrency and scammers will be looking to take advantage of this interest and further their own interests.

The hacking of Tesco’s twitter account and promotion of Bitcoin through it is one such scam that has occurred recently. If one seeks to buy Bitcoin, they should do so through verified and accredited cryptocurrency exchanges which can provide the trader with the security they need.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.