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This Big Scam Has Left Twitter And Discord Users In Seriously Hot Water

Scams have evolved in a major way over the last century. With the advent of global communication, scammers can reach millions of people easily (per TransUnion). Now that most of the world has access to the most powerful global communication tool ever created, the internet (per ourworldindata), scamming has become a massive business. And it's only getting worse, as the FTC reported over $5.8 billion in fraud losses in 2021 alone, an increase of 70% from 2020. Although hard to prove, the FTC has some ideas on why there was a massive uptick in scams. Now that there are more social media tools to communicate with others online, there are more scamming opportunities, as well.

The FTC has called social media a goldmine for scammers, reporting over $770 million in losses on social media in 2021 alone. Even a few celebrities have become victims of scams on social media. One type of social media scammer that has propped up recently is the fake gurus, specifically the fake trading guru. These fake trading gurus use their influence to manipulate stock prices in their favor to come out on top (via Bloomberg). And recently, a massive case was filed against some of the biggest trade gurus around who supposedly used Discord and Twitter to scam their followers out of an eye-watering amount of money.

Twitter and Discord users out $100 million

According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) press release, the SEC recently charged eight prominent social media influencers with fraud. The SEC estimates that the scammers made off with around $100 million in profits. The SEC alleged that these eight users used their social media influence on Discord and Twitter to encourage their followers to buy certain stocks. Then, once the price got high enough, the alleged scammer would sell the stock without telling their followers, resulting in a hefty profit for the influencers.

If true, these influencers have potentially scammed hundreds of thousands of social media users due to their incredible outreach. For example, one of the more popular influencers on the list, @MrZackMorris, has over 500k followers on Twitter alone, and any of his followers could have fallen victim to his alleged scam. Another user, @DiDeity, is being charged with "aiding and abetting the alleged scheme" by promoting many of the alleged fraudsters as "expert traders" in addition to having allegedly "provided them with a forum for their manipulative statements" on their number 1 podcast "Host of Pennies: Going in Raw."

This will undoubtedly go down as a cautionary tale about what happens when social media users blindly follow a self-proclaimed guru, as it is evident that these gurus don't always have their followers' best interests in mind.