Twitter is broken! Please fix it.
Please let’s get our shit together
In the past few weeks I have been really “IN YOUR FACE” tweeting images of twitter scams related to ethereum and Bitcoin.
Why do I do this?
I started with friends and expanded to the people I follow — and then expanded beyond that — into tweets that entered into my timeline by other people liking them or retweeting them.
I started counting the screenshots that I captured on my phone and gave up at 200. That is a LOT of screenshots, a lot of tweeting and way too much time on twitter.
In each case I followed a simple formula
Each time (unless I forgot) I would attach the screenshots of the offending tweets and write something about the person being impersonated. I would write something different each time because
- I needed to stop myself from getting bored
- I wanted to present some variety to keep people engaged.
I would sometimes collate all the scams attached to one post into one tweet, sometimes I would wander down the tweets from one account and pull all the scams and tweet them on a per message basis.
I don’t like scammers targeting HelloGold
If the scam targeted HelloGold (the amazing company that I work for). I would write a twitter essay about how pissed off I was about people using HelloGold to scam other people. I also wrote quite a bit about what HelloGold is doing. Partly because I am proud of what we are doing, partly because I needed to work off my anger at having our efforts tainted by these scams.
Tagging the people impersonated
I tag the person being impersonated because
- I want their followers to report the scams to twitter
- Scammers usually block the target before tweeting the offending message so that no notification shows up — this way they become aware of the extent of the scamming.
I did this so much that Vlad Zamphir replied
but after that we engaged in a conversation about the effectiveness of reporting and whether I was wasting my time.
Scammers do this because it works
We are so used to coupons, special offers, airdrops etc. that people DO fall for these scams. It is not only the uneducated, people who are distracted, tired, busy fall for them too. I know of a guy who is highly educated and not normally gullible (but a newcomer to crypto) who sent half an ether to one.
I saw a tweet from somebody saying that they tracked one address used in one of these scams and found 80 ether in the account. Even with somewhat depressed ether prices that is serious money.
I need you all to help
If we want to grow the community, to offer alternatives to banking systems that shut down at midnight, to censorable applications, to build services to offer financial inclusion to people in emerging economies we need to all take action against the scammers or newcomers, after getting caught will be wary and keep away.
If your account attracts scammers
Some accounts get three or four scam posts in reply to almost every tweet.
Please use other accounts to monitor your tweets. Not only report those tweets yourself but also regularly ask your followers to help.
If you see a scam on somebody else’s tweet
- Bring it to their attention.
- Report it to twitter.
- Occasionally shout about it on twitter.
Whatever you do
It is not enough educating people about crypto.
- We need to teach people not to get scammed online.
- Not to expect anything for free.
- To avoid airdrops for shitcoins where they have to give up email addresses or, worse, private keys.
- To use common sense evaluating Token Sales
Some of my very good friends are working of a variety of tools to find scams, report scams, avoid scams etc. Once these appear please share them.
As for me…
Well — I actually have a day job. A night job really because I write code at night because I like it that way. I have been spending a lot of time on this (and probably will continue to do so for a while) but I need to get back to writing more code because I have a huge backlog as always and we have bills to pay.
Thank you for reading this far…
As I said, I started all this because of HelloGold and I get angry when scammers ride on our coat tails. If you will indulge me I will answer why.
I believe in what we are doing to help people have access to alternative methods of saving.
In 1997 South East Asia was devastated by a financial crisis that caused the value of a number of regional currencies to plummet.
- If you needed imported goods the price went through the roof.
- If you were supporting children studying overseas you suddenly could no longer afford it.
- The affluent had access to investments and savings products that were not pegged to the local currency.
- Ordinary folks could, at the very best, only get savings accounts in their local currency. They were hit very hard.
HelloGold was started to offer these guys access to savings in gold instead of their local currency.
The barrier to entry is kept low (about USD 20 cents for minimum purchase) so that anybody can start to save in gold.
We work with a major digital wallet provider so that even the unbanked can save in gold.
We work with one of the regions largest credit services so that, in an emergency, HelloGold users can borrow at affordable rates using their gold as collateral.
I care because, in the last thirty six years that I have been living in Southeast Asia, I have been surrounded by the most amazing, kind people that I could ask for. Singapore and Malaysia are home to an amazing multi ethnic mix that works together and generally respects each other.
If you want to find out what we do in SouthEast Asia (we have just opened our Bangkok office and are preparing for launch soon) see the HelloGold website.
If you want to help us and yourself hedge against crypto volatility you could have a look at our GOLDX product (separate website).
Thanks for your indulgence.