Crypto Giveaway Scammers Probably Earn More than Ransomware
This is so out of control now
This particular individual (s) is the dot-net scammer, discussed
earlier (because it always uses .net addresses and .ru registrar, which gives it away). He made probably $700k in November from Shiba, BTC, and other tokens.
Twitter can stop this if they wanted to easily, such as simply locking out any account that changes it username and avatar before or soon after posting to Elon Musk.
I dunno where they are getting the Twitter accounts from. Twitter does have some rate limiting. This person (.net scammer) has thousands of them, everyday. I have tried contacting people who may know, but no answer. How is it possible for this to be under the radar for so long? Why aren't the major infosec blogs not covering this?
Some wallets (.net scammer):
This is just a small part of it. Many more wallets.
So many victims...insane. The amount of money giveaway crypto scammers makes probably exceeds any other online organized crime, or maybe any organized crime second to maybe major securities fraud like Madoff. The MicroStrategy YouTube giveaway scams alone earn about $1 million/day in btc +eth. Including Cardano and shiba, it's closer to $1.5 million/day. This based on tracing addresses and registrars.
This is the so-called. io spammer, because it tends to use .io addresses, but will use other extensions as well. Also uses .ru registrar and ru-center hosting. The .io scammer makes the .net scammer look like a noob by comparison ($1-1.5 million/day vs $50-100k/day).
A top ransomware gang, Dark Side, purportedly only made $100 million. To put this in perspective, The 5th or so best crypto giveaway scammer purportedly made from $20-30 million by tracing its addresses. The top one or two individuals make that much in a month or two. This's just mostly twitter and YouTube. So to put another way, a middling giveaway scammer that got no media coverage who isn’t even that good still made $25 million net profit. The pros make way more.
The reason why the scam pays so well is three-fold:
First: the scammer will request that the victim send between .1-10 BTC or so. Most send less than .1, but some will send a lot, many BTC at a time. That is like a
single major ransomware payout. It’s not uncommon to see victims send 1 BTC or more to the Michal Saylor YouTube videos at a time.
Second: by targeting the general public. There is way more money held by individuals crypto enthusiasts, such as Coinbase users, compared to businesses (which are targeted by ransomware gangs). Coinbase has tens of millions of customers, and YouTube and Twitter are among the most popular websites in the world, and combine the two and you literally have millions of potential victims: anyone who uses Coinbase and social media, which is a almost 1-1- overlap.
Third, victims do not come forward, probably out of shame. And individuals tend to hold less clout compared to affected companies, so this is why ransomware losses dominate headlines and get politicians and law enforcement involved, but giveaway losses do not.
Fourth, ransomware does not have as high of profit margins, because it’s split between many affiliates.
Given these factors, the problem is going to get worse unless drastic action is taken, probably by Congress to demand that Twitter + YouTube do something beyond just useless algorithms. Many of the victims are Coinbase users and Americans. This is of national interest now. The FTC shut down and the feds arrested informercial scammers back in the 90s , and those people made way less. Even if the scammers are based in Russia and cannot be held accountable, YouTube + Twitter can still do more.