Elon Musk says Twitter briefly blocked him because the tech firm suspected his account had been hacked.
The Tesla chief indicated the safety precaution was prompted by a tweet he had sent asking: “Wanna buy some Bitcoin?”
Several fake accounts have previously used images of Mr Musk and variations of his name to promote cryptocurrency scams, sometimes within replies to his posts.
Twitter has not commented.
Mr Musk’s own suspect tweet had featured an anime drawing of a girl wearing Bitcoin-themed clothing.
The Japanese art form is a current interest of the entrepreneur, who recently commented on his love for the movies Your Name and Princess Mononoke.
Mr Musk is far from being the only celebrity whose identity has been spoofed by those seeking publicity for dubious crypto-offers.
- President Trump
- Bill Gates
- Warren Buffet
- John McAfee
- Bloomberg reporters Olga Kharif and Lily Katz
In some cases, accounts are first registered to an unrelated name that gains a Twitter-verified tick only to have their image and username changed afterwards to impersonate a famous figure.
Cyber-security firm Duo Lab published a report in August detailing how software tools known as “bots” are being used to automate such scams. It said that they had avoided detection by taking steps such as making minor edits to the stolen profile images.
Mr Musk has previously complained about the phenomenon, and sought help to “get rid of the annoying scam spammers” from Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin.
Mr Musk has faced criticism for his own Twitter activity in recent months after repeatedly accusing a man of being a paedophile without presenting evidence, and claiming he had “secured” funding to take Tesla private when a deal had not been finalised.
Source BBC News