FinCEN issues warning to financial institutions after hackers hit high-profile Twitter accounts


After hackers attacked high-profile Twitter accounts on Wednesday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an alert to financial institutions warning them about the cyberscam.

Scammers exploited several Twitter accounts, including those belonging to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, among others, in order to solicit fraudulent payments denominated in convertible virtual currency, which would then supposedly be doubled and returned to the sender.

“It is critical that CVC exchanges and other financial institutions identify and report suspicious transactions associated with this type of activity as quickly as possible,” the alert stated.

FinCEN provided the following indicators to help financial institutions detect and prevent suspicious activity related to the scam:

  • promises of high or guaranteed investment or donation returns for payments made to accounts with which you have no prior business relationship;
  • communications, including social media posts, soliciting payments with misspellings or messages out of profile for the counterparty, soliciting payments from individuals or organizations with whom you have no prior existing business relationship, including celebrities or public figures;
  • solicitations requesting donations via social media where the solicitor is not affiliated with a reputable organization;
  • social media posts that solicit donations or advertise giveaways that appear from accounts that are not “verified” through the social media platform account verification processes or that misspell the celebrity or financial institution’s name;
  • multiple social media accounts communicating the same message soliciting funds for an unknown purpose or to an unknown account; and
  • comunications, including social media posts, that provide the same CVC address across multiple celebrity or prominent financial institution social media accounts.

The full alert, which includes guidance on reporting potential suspicious activity related to this scam, can be accessed on the FinCEN website.


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