Earlier this month, some Facebook users noticed something odd: bitcoin mining company Bitmain seemed to be posting in the comments of one of its posts, advertising some sort of “partnership” tied to bitcoin and requesting a cryptocurrency transfer. The post was suspicious; some wondered whether the company had been hacked.
But the post wasn’t from Bitmain at all, the company explained in a follow-up comment on Facebook. Instead, a savvy imposter had set up a fake account, then commented on a legitimate thread from the company, attempting to draw users into sending bitcoin. “There are plenty of users creating fake accounts with our profile picture and inputting the same name as Bitmain,” the company wrote in a Facebook comment. “We always have these taken down but new ones always come out.” Users with pages like Bitmain’s rely on flagging content to Facebook and then waiting for the company to take it down. It’s not clear in this case how long the posts were visible. (Bitmain declined to comment.)
The scheme has hit others on Facebook, too. This week, an account imitating The Verge was making the same pitch in Facebook comments. “We are excited to be partnering with Bitcoin,” read the comment, which used similar language to the Bitmain proposal. The comment claimed to be offering a giveaway in exchange for providing a small sum of bitcoin to “verify your address.” Read more