Scammers hijacked the Twitter accounts of tech giants, a former president, a former vice president, and more on Wednesday, leading hundreds of people to send money to a scammer’s bitcoin address in the hopes that Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, and others might give them more in return.
“I am giving back to the community,” began a tweet from former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee. “All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes. Enjoy!”
Former President Barack Obama’s account tweeted a similar message.
The scammers did not just go after Obama and Biden. Kanye West, Elon Must, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos also got hit, as did the official accounts for Apple and Uber.
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The Biden campaign said in a statement that Twitter locked Biden’s account immediately and removed the related tweet. “We remain in touch with Twitter on the matter,” the campaign said.
Twitter Support acknowledged the “security incident” and announced the company was “investigating and taking steps to fix it.” At around 9 p.m., Twitter announced that “most accounts should be able to Tweet again. As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
The Bitcoin address linked in the tweets received transactions from more than 200 people, who sent in a total of more than $115,000, NBC News reported.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.