Twitter is silent as hackers trick users with stolen high-profile verified accounts

When you look at Jase Robertson and David Dayen, you wouldn’t think they have much in common. Robertson is known for her time on the A&E reality TV show The Duck Dynasty. He currently hosts a show on the conservative digital outlet TheBlaze. David Dayen is a longtime progressive journalist and managing editor of The American Prospect magazine.

However, over the past few weeks, tweets from both Robertson’s and Dayen’s Twitter accounts have shared the exact same messages.

A tweet from Jase Robertson’s hacked Twitter account.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot

“Hey twitter family!” begins the tweets posted on both accounts. “I have 10 MacBooks that I will personally sign myself that you can buy for $600 and free shipping! First come first serve basis and all proceeds will go to charity! MY DMS ARE OPEN IF INTERESTED”

Included in each account’s tweets is the exact same image of a MacBook Pro sitting on a hardwood floor. What is going on here? Have Dayen and Robertson put aside their political differences and start an Apple retail business?

No. They have been hacked, along with a number of other verified accounts on the social media platform. And Twitter has been silent on the matter.

Although some of these accounts have been hacked for weeks now, Twitter has not suspended the accounts, allowing the hackers to scam users out of thousands of dollars, if not more.

David Dayen's hacked Twitter account

A tweet from David Dayen’s hacked Twitter account.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot

Dayen tells Mashable that he was originally hacked last summer after clicking on a malicious link that gave bad actors access to his account. He says his account was quickly suspended by Twitter then, well before Elon Musk acquired the company. When he regained access about a month later, Dayen quickly enabled two-factor authentication on his account. Implementing this security measure should have made another hack extremely difficult to perform.

But here the @ddayen Twitter account is, just 6 months later, hacked and defrauding the platform’s users.

Followers fall for scams

Mashable heard from at least one of Dayen’s followers who was scammed after seeing Dayen’s tweets. This person saw a tweet from a user they trusted and, not realizing that Dayen was hacked, fell for the scheme in a moment of desperation.

“I fell for it,” the Twitter user told Mashable. “I really need a computer.”

David Dayen's hacked account

Another tweet from David Dayen’s hacked Twitter account.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot

This person shared the private DM conversation between themselves and the person who runs the hacked @ddayen account. They also provided screenshots of the $1,500 transaction they made to the scammer, which included payments from family members who also wanted to buy a MacBook. The scammer demanded that they pay via Zelle, Cashapp or Apple Pay – all peer-to-peer payment services that often do not issue refunds to users who are scammed.

Dayen tells Mashable that he has submitted two support tickets to Twitter since he was hacked on March 12. He also sent a reply to Twitter’s autoresponder asking for more information. Additionally, he has tweeted publicly on Twitter’s official support account, @TwitterSupport. His account remains both hacked and active, the scammer’s tweets visible to all of Twitter.

“Amazing @twittersupport at least didn’t lock @ddayen after I reported the hack along with dozens of other people,” Dayen tweeted(Opens in a new tab) from his backup account, @david_dayen.

This is not an isolated incident

The Duck DynastyRobertson’s Robertson was hacked even earlier, with the earlier scam tweet visible on the account’s feed shown on March 2. Robertson announced that he was hacked to his followers on March 5 episode(Opens in a new tab) of his podcast.

Winnie Wong, a former senior policy advisor for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, was also hacked by these scammers. Although they seem to be trying something else with her account.

Wong tells Mashable that when she was first hacked and booted from her @WaywardWinifred account on March 13, the scammers initially started posting about the same MacBook scam. But then, after she started(Opens in a new tab) tweeting(Opens in a new tab) that she and Dayen were hacked from her other high-profile Twitter account, @People4Bernie, the scammers blocked her account from seeing tweets from the hacked accounts. The fraudsters then changed her Twitter profile and header to make the account look like an official Twitter profile.

It hacked the @WaywardWinifred account then began(Opens in a new tab) to private DM Wong’s contacts – including politicians and other influential users – pretending to be members of Twitter’s support. The DMs informed the user that they were violating Twitter’s policies and had to fill out a form on a website “”, a phishing website set up by the scammer to look like a Twitter page for tricking the user into sharing their password so they can take over the account.

The phishing website is currently forwarding to an Instagram account @morcegoen(Opens in a new tab), which appears to be connected to the scammer. A single one picture(Opens in a new tab) on @morcegoen’s page has comments from verified Instagram users like actor John Cusack. Cusack himself had his Instagram account hacked at the time this account was created. Cusack’s Instagram account posted photos of the MacBooks while it was being hacked, along with the same “10 MacBooks” for sale text.

The same scammer hit other high-profile Twitter accounts earlier this year as well. Actress Anya Taylor Joy(Opens in a new tab)Its Twitter account was hacked and began tweeting out MacBook scams in January. Actor Jonathan Frakes(Opens in a new tab)‘ account started doing the same at the end of December last year as well. However, both Joy’s and Frakes’ accounts have since been restored to their rightful owner.

Anya Taylor Joy's hacked Twitter account

A January tweet from Anya Taylor Joy’s hacked Twitter account.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot

So far, all high-profile accounts that have been hacked are legacy verified accounts, meaning they were verified before Musk took over the platform and allowed users to purchase a Twitter blue verified check for $8 per month.

Twitter’s inaction on the matter is a problem. As Wong tells me, her concern isn’t so much that she can’t access her account, it’s that the accounts haven’t been suspended yet. This allows the hacker to continue to trick his followers as well as other Twitter users. She points out that the problem with the accounts that were stolen earlier this year, such as Anya Taylor Joy’s, was solved at a time when Twitter had a larger workforce. Since those hacks earlier this year, Twitter has gone under additional rounding off layoffs.

Twitter could not be reached for comment by Mashable as the company no longer has a communications department under Musk.

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