I will say this: despite the millions of people that are unwittingly affected by scams and bad actors, it’s honestly sort of funny looking at just how bad some of these are. Of course, I still think this absolves them of zero blame; regardless of whether or not someone should fall for a stunt like this, the stunt should not be happening in the first place. Then again, Elon Musk sliding into my DMs and asking me to invest in Twitter is just such a funny idea to me. Really justifies the “bad actor” moniker for many of these cybercriminals. Also, what a dumb way to earn money, right? Sure, you’ll maybe get lucky and earn 20 bucks off of some poor grandma who just wants to help out a stranger on the internet, but don’t these people have any introspective sense? Imagine being in your late 20’s or mid 30’s, thinking that scamming other people with a scenario that literal 5 year olds could come up with is “living the dream”. Yep, you made it, random guy pretending to be Jeff Bezos, you are the blueprint of a generation.
Cybersecurity and antivirus firm McAfee has recently documented a get rich quick scheme being employed online, which has managed to rake in over USD $1.3 million in the form of cryptocurrency, because that’s where the future is. The setup is the exact same as a scam-like call or email: someone will pretend to be another person, and then pester, coerce, emotionally blackmail you into sending them money. While the Elon Musk example I gave above has been a common iteration of this scheme, others include cybercriminals pretending to be Jack Dorsey or even Cathie Wood.
These people will slide into your DMs, asking you to invest in fresh startups, or even their own companies (still can’t wrap my mind around Elon Musk owning Twitter). How does one stay careful online? Well, the easiest way right now is a simple process. If a famous person has messaged you, think to yourself: do I know this person in real life? If the answer is no, then ignore the message. Boom, cybersecurity threat averted!
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