Man loses $560,000 in fake Elon Musk crypto scam

It still happens, folks. A man in Germany lost Bitcoins worth more than half a million dollars after falling for a fake Elon Musk crypto scam that offered to double his money.

The BBC reports.

This loss was the largest single amount recorded by a Dutch group that tracks these giveaway scams.

The man who fell victim to this scam is from Cologne, and he said that he clicked on a link from a Twitter account posing as Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO often tweets his enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, moving markets in the process, and unintentionally inviting scammers that try to profit from this.

Clicking on one such link led to a professional looking page that described an offer in which people could send Musk Bitcoins and receive twice as much in return.

The website offered to double quantities between 0.1 and 20 bitcoins, which at current prices would be worth anywhere from $5,600 to $1.1 million.

Although the specific website that ran the scam was not specified, this deleted page on Medium provides an example of a giveaway claiming to be from Musk.

Adding a ticking timer added to a sense of urgency to the victim’s decision, and he opted to send his full holding of 10 bitcoins for the offer. Doing so, he was thinking that this this was definitely real. It was only when the timer counted down and no money came, did he realize his mistake.

A really big mistake, he says.

Cryptocurrency scams have soared in recent years, with little recourse for those who are duped. According to the latest reports, scammers took $4.6 billion from crypto traders in 2019 alone, with fake crypto giveaways often targeting social media accounts of high-profile figures.

As for Musk, this is not the first time he has been used to give cover to a scam.

Back in July 2020, hackers managed to take over the Twitter accounts of a number of people, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Apple and Kim Kardashian, and posted similar giveaway scams.


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