Hijacked Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) Twitter Account Used To Promote Fake Coinbase Scam

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

11 January 2019,

Hackers targeting unsusceptible crypto users were at it again on Wednesday, this time hijacking the official Twitter account of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) and turning it into a fake Coinbase promotion account.

However, just as with most reported crypto scam cases, the hackers did very little to cover their footprints as the attack had several shreds of evidence showing that it was illegal.


Nature of the Coinbase Fake Twitter Scam

First, after getting control of the Twitter belonging to the non-profit Belgian firm @VBOFEB, the person/people behind it changed the profile description of the handle to “Official Coinbase Promotion Account” and uploaded images that belonged to the Coinbase brand in an attempt to mimic the US-based cryptocurrency exchange.

Next, the account was used to retweet several crypto-related updates by other Twitter accounts including the official Coinbase account. All these led up to a fake giveaway promotion which was the main reason behind the account hijacking.

A tweet made with the handle tried to mislead users into thinking that Coinbase was giving away free Bitcoins to celebrate reaching “over 30,000.000 [sic] users.”

To participate in the fake giveaway, users were asked to send small units of BTC beginning from 0.2 to 2 and expect to receive 10x the amount they donated to a provided wallet address.

The hackers even went as far as using other Twitter accounts to confirm in the comments section that they have donated and received the fake rewards, in a bid to convince people to buy into their promotion.

Loopholes which showed that the promotion was a fake one is the fact that Coinbase does not have any official account dedicated to promoting its events. Also, the cryptocurrency exchange has over 25 million users which is larger than the “30,000.000 [sic] users’’ quoted in the fake giveaway post.

Even more convincing is that the hackers were unable to change the official handle of the Twitter account to any name related to Coinbase. Instead, the account has retained the @VBOFEB title until now.

In recent times, the number of scam activities targeting crypto users has been on the increase. We reported in December that the Belgian authorities already had 113 crypto-scam related websites on its blacklist while the Italian regulators also shut down two fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes in the same period.

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