Scammers took over ESPN Major League Baseball reporter Jeff Passan’s Twitter account to promote a nonfungible token (NFT) giveaway, which he described as the “biggest news day” of his life.
Passan had just broken word about an important agreement between the two sides about the international draft, while the MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) were locked in a long-winded deadlock over a labor accord that resulted in canceled games.
With all eyes on Passan for the next development, his account abruptly began advertising prizes for the Skulltoons NFT project. His username was also changed to “Jeff.eth,” and his bio read, “NFT Enthusiast, MLB Insider, Father, Husband, Mod for @skulltoonsNFT, @Azukizen, @thugbirdz.” His profile picture was also altered to “NFT Enthusiast, MLB Insider, Father, Husband, Mod for @skulltoonsNFT, @Azukizen, @thugbirdz
Passan had teamed with Skulltoons to offer away 20 presale spots for a future release on March 20, according to the tweets (which have since been deleted and recovered via screenshots). And, of course, in order to win, users had to click on a suspicious-looking link.
The Skulltoons team distanced themselves from the hacker’s posts, warning the community to be wary of Scammers
“Looks like Jeff Passan got hacked by someone trying to scam our community… We are not affiliated with Jeff in any capacity. We hope that he’s able to get his Twitter back ASAP.”
The attack was short-lived, with ESPN apparently restoring Passan’s account within two hours. Passan’s Twitter backdrop was changed to a white image with the words “I’m back” in allusion to NBA legend Michael Jordan’s famous phrase when he came out of retirement to play for the Chicago Bulls for a second time.
Hackers frequently attempt to take over big social media accounts in the hopes of convincing followers that they are seeing authentic promotions from people they support. In late January, Cointelegraph reported that dozens of YouTube accounts were hijacked to promote crypto frauds, including BitBoy Crypto, Altcoin Buzz, Box Mining, Floyd Mayweather, Ivan on Tech, and The Moon.
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