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Rapper 50 Cent Alleges Hack of X Account to Push Cryptocurrency Scam

ByDayne Lee

Jun 24, 2024

Rapper 50 Cent Alleges Hack of X Account to Push Cryptocurrency Scam

Curtis James Jackson III, globally known as the rapper “50 Cent,” recently revealed that his X account and website were compromised in a cyberattack. This incident saw hackers leveraging his substantial online following to orchestrate a classic pump-and-dump scheme involving a newly created cryptocurrency token named “GUNIT.”

The Hack and Its Immediate Impact

On June 21, Jackson alerted his 32.8 million Instagram followers about the hack. According to his post, hackers used his X account, which boasts approximately 12.9 million followers, to promote the fraudulent GUNIT token. This aggressive promotion aimed to lure investors and artificially inflate the token’s price before the perpetrators offloaded their holdings, causing a significant crash in its value.

  • Token Creation: Fraudulent developers introduced the GUNIT token.
  • Price Manipulation: The price of GUNIT surged temporarily due to the promotion, peaking before plummeting to $0.00016.
  • Financial Impact: Jackson claimed the hackers made a substantial profit, asserting they gained $300 million in just 30 minutes. However, this figure was later disputed.

A detailed review of GUNIT’s trading data by Cointelegraph, using Dex Screener, revealed significant sell-offs from multiple wallet addresses following its promotion on Jackson’s X account. Notably, four wallets each offloaded more than $100,000 worth of GUNIT tokens. The total trading volume for GUNIT, as of the latest data, was $19.4 million, significantly lower than Jackson’s initial claim of $300 million.

This event underscores a broader trend of celebrities being unwittingly—or sometimes knowingly—linked to dubious cryptocurrency schemes. The use of high-profile figures to promote crypto assets has been a recurrent strategy to gain quick investor traction and often results in significant financial losses for those duped into these schemes.

Examples of Celebrity Involvement:

  • Caitlyn Jenner: Recently entered the crypto memecoin market with her token, JENNER. Her involvement caused confusion due to mixed messages about the token and its promotion.

In Jenner’s case, there was initial speculation that her X account might have been hacked, similar to Jackson’s claim. However, these rumors were dismissed, and Jenner continued to promote her token despite the controversy surrounding its launch.

Timeline of Caitlyn Jenner’s Token Promotion:

  • May 27: Jenner’s X account posts a statement encouraging followers to send their favorite memecoins.
  • Post-Removal: Jenner retracts the post but reaffirms her commitment to promoting the JENNER token.

The Mechanics of a Pump-and-Dump Scheme

A pump-and-dump involves the rapid increase (pump) in the price of an asset, driven by false or misleading statements, followed by a steep decline (dump) when the orchestrators sell their holdings at the elevated price. This manipulation is particularly prevalent in the less regulated crypto markets, where new tokens can be created and promoted with relative ease.

  • Rapid Price Increase: Often driven by false promotion.
  • Sudden Crash: Occurs when the orchestrators sell off their holdings.
  • Victim Impact: Investors who buy in during the pump phase suffer significant losses when the price collapses.

50 Cent’s Response and Aftermath

Following the hack, 50 Cent praised X’s swift action to secure his account. He emphasized his lack of involvement with the GUNIT token and distanced himself from any association with the fraudulent scheme. His prompt public response aimed to mitigate the damage and warn his followers against further scams.

The incident involving 50 Cent highlights the vulnerabilities celebrities face regarding their online presence and the potential exploitation by malicious actors in the cryptocurrency space. As the industry continues to grow, the need for stringent security measures and greater awareness among high-profile individuals and their followers becomes increasingly critical.

  • Enhanced Account Security: Implementing robust security protocols for social media and digital assets.
  • Awareness and Education: Understanding the risks associated with promoting or being linked to cryptocurrency ventures.

While the immediate financial damage from the GUNIT scam may be less than initially reported, the broader implications for celebrity involvement in cryptocurrency highlight a critical area for ongoing vigilance and regulation.

Featured image credit: Freepik

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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