“I am giving back to the community,” the tweets state. “All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes.” They are then followed by a code for a Bitcoin wallet.
Business leaders including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg shared the tweets, which were later deleted. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama tweeted it too.
Twitter accounts for companies like Apple and Uber also shared the tweets, as did reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, boxer Floyd Mayweather and rapper Wiz Khalifa.
A spokesperson for Bill Gates confirmed to FOX Business that he had not sent the tweet.
"We can confirm that this tweet was not sent by Bill Gates," the spokesperson said. "This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing. Twitter is aware and working to restore the account."
Twitter said it was investigating a security incident.
"We are investigating and taking steps to fix it," the company wrote in a tweet.
Cryptocurrency-related accounts including Gemini, Coinbase, Binance and Coindesk were also hacked and sent scam-related tweets, according to Tyler Winklevoss, the CEO of Gemini and tech investor known for the legal battle he and his brother fought against Mark Zuckerberg over the creation of Facebook.
“DO NOT CLICK THE LINK,” Winklevoss warned.
Bitcoin-tracking website Blockchain.com indicated the Bitcoin wallet linked in the tweets had been involved in more than 300 transactions, though it wasn't immediately clear how many, if any, were donations from people who saw the "scam" tweets. The account had received Bitcoin valued at more than $100,000, according to the website.
Due to the nature of Bitcoin, the transactions are irreversible.
Check back for more on this developing story.