In what ESPN Major League Baseball reporter Jeff Passan called the “biggest news day” of his life, scammers hijacked his Twitter account to promote a nonfungible token (NFT) giveaway.
With the MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) engaged in a long-winded deadlock over a labor deal that resulted in canceled games, Passan had just broken news regarding an important agreement between the two parties concerning the international draft.
hey remember that time i got hacked on the biggest news day of my life
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
However, with eyes waiting on the next development from Passan, his account suddenly started promoting giveaways for the Skulltoons NFT project. His username was also changed to “Jeff.eth” while his profile picture depicted artwork from the NFTs and his bio read “NFT Enthusiast, MLB Insider, Father, Husband, Mod for @skulltoonsNFT, @Azukizen, @thugbirdz.”
The tweets (which have since been deleted and salvaged via screenshots) noted that Passan had partnered with Skulltoons to giveaway 20 presale spots for an upcoming drop on March 20. And, of course, people needed to click on a nefarious-looking link to get a chance of winning.
— Alex McDaniel (@AlexMcDaniel) March 10, 2022
Following reports of the hack circulating online, the team behind Skulltoons distanced themselves from the hacker’s posts as they warned the community to be wary of scams:
“Looks like Jeff Passan got hacked by someone trying to scam our community… We are not affiliated with Jeff in any capacity. We hope that he’s able to get his Twitter back ASAP.”
Looks like jeffpassan got hacked by someone trying to scam our community as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos and that’ll be a homerun so that’ll make it a 4-0 ballgame
— Shortest Stop (@ShortestStop) March 10, 2022
The hack didn’t last long, with ESPN reportedly moving fast to get Passan’s account back within two hours. To announce his return, Passan changed his Twitter background to a white image that simply read “I’m back,” in reference to the famous quote from NBA icon Michael Jordan when he came out of retirement to play for the Chicago Bulls for a second stint.
Hackers often attempt to hijack popular social media accounts in a bid to dupe followers into thinking they are seeing legitimate promotions from people they support. Cointelegraph reported in late January that dozens of YouTube accounts such as BitBoy Crypto, Altcoin Buzz, Box Mining, Floyd Mayweather, Ivan on Tech and The Moon were hacked to promote crypto scams.