Vitalik Buterin impersonators ramp up ETH phishing ahead of The Merge

Vitalik Buterin impersonators ramp up ETH phishing ahead of The Merge


The hype around The Merge has attracted a swarm of scammers that are actively using verified Twitter accounts to impersonate Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and dupe investors.

Prominent entrepreneurs, including one of the world’s richest man Elon Musk, pointed out numerous times the biggest problem of Twitter — bots. However, scammers have evidently amped up efforts to go unnoticed of their ill intentions by using verified profiles.

Fake and verified Vitalik Buterin impersonators carrying out phishing attacks. Source: Twitter

Cointelegraph identified over six verified Twitter accounts that currently replicate Buterin’s profile picture, name and profile description. The accounts have been actively promoting fake Ether (ETH) giveaways and misleading investors into getting access to their crypto wallets.

The easiest way to identify the fakes is by paying attention to the Twitter handle, also known as the username of the profiles. Recently, fake Twitter profiles impersonating Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao have increased, forcing Musk to publicly call out the problem, as shown below.

Occasionally, scammers have also been found to impersonate Ethereum Foundation, trying to gain credibility among the masses. Especially during bull runs and significant events like network upgrades, bad actors find it easy to dupe investors that are typically unaware of scams amid hypes.

This article comes as a warning to crypto investors to help them avoid falling for targeted scams and attacks that threaten to drain funds.

Related: Ethereum ready for The Merge as last shadow fork completes successfully

Equally excited for The Merge, Google added a countdown timer displaying the time remaining for the Ethereum blockchain to transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.

Cointelegraph previously reported on recent Google search data, which revealed that searches for the term “Ethereum Merge” generated a score above 50 several times over the last 30 days, reaching a peak of 100 on Sept. 3.