n June 21, 2022, renowned American rapper 50 Cent took to Instagram to inform his followers that his Twitter account had been hacked. The hackers had used the account, which has over 12.9 million followers, to promote a new meme coin called GUNIT. Within just 30 minutes, the price of $GUNIT surged dramatically as the hacker capitalized on 50 Cent's large social media presence to pump up interest. 

Screenshot of 50cent Instagram talking about the hack on his X account
50 Cent Calls Out X Account Hack

Huge Profits From A Short-Lived Scam

Analyzing trading data on Dex Screener, one GUNIT wallet sold over $720,000 worth of the token in the brief period it was being promoted on 50 Cent's hacked Twitter account. In total, the scam is estimated to have generated close to $1 million for the unknown hackers. Though 50 Cent claimed on Instagram that the amount stolen was over $300 million, this number appears to have been exaggerated. The actual trade volume of $GUNIT was around $19.4 million according to market analytics.

Dexscreener screenshot showing GUINT coin profits
Total Amount Sold in Minutes 

Celebrity Accounts Remain At Risk

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Other famous personalities like Caitlyn Jenner and Rich The Kid have also faced short-lived account takeovers used to shill meme coins in recent months. The ease with which hackers can gain access highlights ongoing security vulnerabilities. For investors, it serves as a cautionary reminder to always do thorough research before putting money behind tweets, especially those involving promotional links from compromised pages. Relying on celebrity endorsements alone leaves people at high risk of falling for elaborate pump-and-dump schemes.

The Need For Improved Security

While social media platforms work quickly to restore hacked accounts, more proactive measures are needed to curb this problem. Mandating stronger login protections like two-factor authentication could help curb the account takeover trend. Users also need to practice basic cyber safety by using unique passwords and avoiding links from unfamiliar sources. As crypto scams become more sophisticated, companies and individuals must work together to outpace attackers through technology and awareness. The 50 Cent incident shows how just one compromised profile can be monetized to the tune of millions, emphasizing the urgency of this security challenge.

The crypto scam orchestrated using 50 Cent's Twitter highlights ongoing vulnerabilities and proves why caution is warranted when investing appears to be cheerleaded by celebrities online. Though platforms aim to restore control swiftly, proactive steps are still needed to prevent accounts from being hijacked for illicit promotion in the first place. Staying vigilant against suspect links and verifying claims with independent research remains prudent advice for those engaging online communities.

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