Crypto scammers posing as Elon Musk briefly hack Imran Khan’s Instagram account

The former prime minister of Pakistan had his account compromised in an attempt to use two prominent individuals with high social media followings to defraud more people.

The official Instagram account of a cricket legend and the leader of one of the main political parties in Pakistan first posted a story thanking Musk for “donating” three bitcoins. To appear more legitimate, it also featured a screenshot of what is now clear to have been a fake tweet by Musk promoting a $100 million “giveaway.”


According to the Pakistani media reports, the story was followed by a post in which scammers pretending to be Khan further endorsed the supposed crypto bonanza. They told his 7.4 million followers to click on a link in his bio – which led to an external scam website – and “get money.” The story and the post were shortly taken down from Khan’s account.


The social media head of Khan’s party told the Pakistani publication Dawn that the account was recovered within 15 to 20 minutes with the help of Meta, Instagram’s parent company. The website also reported that Khan’s account might have been jeopardized by hacking his email first.

While this raises serious security concerns, it is also remarkable that two high-profile figures were used to try and cheat people out of their money. While not as elaborate as celebrity endorsement schemes recently exposed in Europe or a phishing scam that mimicked the US top court, it may seem less time-consuming for fraudsters bent on getting rich quickly.

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