An imposter account, pretending to belong to Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) co-creator Vitalik Buterin on Instagram, the social network run by Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB), is allegedly engaging over 570,000 people with sponsored paid advertisements and a staking scam.
What Happened: The Instagram page with 24 posts sports an image of Vitalik Buterin, which is remarkably akin to the one the Ethereum founder uses on his Twitter profile.
A Screenshot Showing The Account Purporting To Belong To Vitalik Buterin
There is even a link to Buterin’s blog to add a dash of authenticity to the unverified Instagram page.
Yoloswagmonster, a content creator on TikTok, described the Instagram page as a “sinister scam.” He said that the imposter account is based in Israel and that “some of the former usernames on this account were also trying to be Vitalik.”
The three usernames referred to by Yoloswagmonster in the TikTok video all date back to 2019. Benzinga verified this to be accurate. The account in the name of Vitalik Buterin was created on Feb. 14, 2019, as per Instagram’s account information data.
“What he’s doing is running sponsored ads and getting people to message him….then he ropes you into a staking scam. This is disgusting to be honest,” said the TikTok content creator.
See Also: How To Buy Ethereum (ETH)
Why It Matters: In 2018, Buterin had responded to a Twitter post that sought clarification on a project purportedly posted on his Instagram account.
I have an instagram???
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) March 25, 2018
A post on r/CryptoCurrency, a Reddit discussion board, last year also touched on Buterin’s so-called Instagram account.
A Screenshot By u/tmbelac Showing A Livestream On Instagram On An Account Allegedly Belong To Vitalik Buterin
“Right now ‘he’ has a live stream going on where it says if you send 3+ ETH then you will receive 6 or more back. This is very obviously a scam,” wrote u/tmbelac at the time.
Last summer, the Federal Trade Commission said in a report that Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk impersonators stole over $2 million in cryptocurrency scams.
Cryptocurrency scammers made nearly $8 billion from rug pulls and other scams in 2021, according to Chainalysis data.
Price Action: At press time, ETH traded 1.6% higher at $3,802.22. On Friday, Meta Platforms shares closed 2.3% lower at $336.35 in the regular session and rose 0.3% in the after-hours trading.
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Photo: Courtesy of TechCrunch via Flickr