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Facebook verified a Bitcoin scammer pretending to be Elon Musk

·Senior Editor
·1-min read

Despite Facebook’s attempts at verifying suspiciously popular accounts, it isn’t perfect (to say the least). The Verge has reported that the company has mistakenly verified a Facebook fan page for Elon Musk as Musk’s own official account. On top of that, it appears to be run by a Bitcoin scammer.

The page, which has 153,000 followers as of this writing, actually acknowledges it isn't Musk... at least in the About section. It says there: “This is a fanpage, uploading tweets etc from him.” But then the URL ends in "ElonMuskoffici", which indicates they're certainly pretending as if it's official. In the Page Transparency section, it says that the people who manage the page are “based in Egypt,” not in the US, which is where Musk resides.

Fake Elon Musk
Fake Elon Musk

The account currently has 11 posts, and while most of them are just reposts of Musk’s tweets, the most recent one is clearly a phony Bitcoin giveaway (the post has since been removed). The earliest is on October 21st, but as The Verge pointed out, the page was actually created on July 28th 2019 under the name “Kizito Gavin” with several name changes since then. It changed its name to Elon Musk on October 17th.

Facebook verification requires account owners to submit proof of their identity, such as driver's license or passport, but scammers have at times found ways around the official process.

We’ve reached out to Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, for comment, but have not received a response just yet. 

Update 7:16PM ET: The page is currently "unavailable." It's unclear if it has been deleted. 

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