Inside money, markets, and big tech

No, Vitalik Buterin is not giving away free Ether – scammers are taking yours


You might want to reconsider your cryptocurrency investment strategy if you were hoping that sending a couple of hundred dollars worth of Ethereum to its founder Vitalik Buterin can increase your portfolio ten-fold. Quite the opposite: Scammers might be out to empty your pockets.

Earlier today Buterin posted this somewhat obscure message on Twitter:

But while it might seem harmless, sly internet con artists were swift to take advantage of this situation and turn it into an opportunity to make a quick buck.

Posting from accounts disguised as Buterin himself, the scammers are asking for donations of 0.2 ETH to a certain wallet address. In return, they promise that the first 400 fools who fall for this will receive 2 ETH in return.

Newsflash: they won’t.

In a window of less than an hour, the fraudulent wallets have collected a couple of thousand dollars – and people continue to send Ether their way. Indeed, one of the posters has since collected nearly 5.4 ETH – that is, including a small 2 ETH withdrawal.

Here is a screenshot from one of the wallets attached to the misleading tweets.

While it might be bizarre, Buterin-imposting scammers are running wild in the crypto space.

Less than 10 days ago, the young founder warned his followers not to send any funds if someone contacts them, pretending to be him and in need of quick cash.

So if you get a message from Buterin asking you to send money to his wallet: do yourself a favor and ignore it. It’s probably just a scam.

Published February 1, 2018 — 17:19 UTC