Scammers have hacked into the official Twitter account of the Embassy of India in Oman, replaced the profile picture with Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, and used the reply function to spam users with fake XRP giveaway phishing links.
At the time of publication, the Twitter account OmanEmbassy_Ind showed several retweets matching Garlinghouse’s, seemingly in an effort to make the activity appear legitimate. The hacked account has responded to tweets using the hashtag XRP, encouraging users to sign up for a fake 100 million token giveaway — worth over $42 million at an XRP price of $0.42 .
The hackers behind Ripple XRP’s fake CEO, identified as “Galringhouse”, may have been responsible for hacking into the Twitter account of India-based crypto exchange CoinDCX, given the similar fake giveaways. CoinDCX reported Tuesday that it had restored access to its account. While the crypto exchange’s Twitter account had more than 230,000 followers, the Embassy of India in Oman showed only 4,119 at the time of publication.
Important update. pic.twitter.com/RTeIZ5EzRK
— CoinDCX: Making Crypto Accessible to Indians (@CoinDCX) September 20, 2022
On Monday, Caroline Pham of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission caused a stir on social media after posting a photo of her standing with Garlinghouse in the Ripple Labs offices. A decision in a Securities and Exchange Commission case alleging that Ripple’s XRP sales violate securities laws could follow after both parties filed summary proceedings on Saturday.
Related: Hackers May Be Responsible For Removing $4.8 Million From Crypto Exchange ZB.com: PeckShield
Many hackers have used social media to scam unsuspecting users from both crypto and fiat since the platforms were created. Using high-profile figures in the crypto space — such as Garlinghouse, Elon Musk, and others — is a common tactic. In June, the US Federal Trade Commission reported that scammers stole approximately $1 billion worth of crypto between 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, with half of all crypto-related scams coming from social media platforms.