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Crypto Scammers Made Over $2 Million Through Fake Elon Musk Giveaways: FTC

Musk impersonators have stolen at least $2 million from investors in cryptocurrency scams over the past six months, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Cryptocurrency scam

IMAGE: Unsplash/AP


Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been a supporter of cryptocurrency and his opinion about them also affects their market price. However, Elon Musk impersonators have been using his name to trick people into crypto scams. Musk impersonators have stolen at least $2 million from investors in cryptocurrency scams over the past six months, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Scammers use Elon Musk name to steal money

According to the regulator, the theft occurred using "giveaway scams," where the scammers pose as celebrities or other known figures in the cryptocurrency space and falsely promise to immediately multiply the supposed return but instead take the money sent by the people. Since last October, consumers reported losing more than $80 million in cryptocurrency scams. That’s about 12 times the number of reports and almost 1,000% more in reported losses than the same period a year earlier, the regulator said.

Scammers even use online dating to draw people into cryptocurrency investment scams. Many people have reported believing they were in a long-distance relationship when their partner started talking about a cryptocurrency opportunity, which they then acted on. As per FTC, since October 2020, people aged between 20 to 49 were over five times more likely to report losing money on cryptocurrency investment scams than older age groups.

Last week, a woman in the United Kingdom lost £9000 in a bitcoin fraud that cashed in on Musk’s association with the currency. A woman named Julie Bushnell fell for the scam, after the fraudsters promised her double the sum in exchange for her cryptocurrency investment, as per a report on BBC. She shared that she was lured in by a fake news report resembling BBC’s website, which suggested that Musk would pay back two times the amount invested in the form of a bitcoin. Bushnell said that she had invested the amount saved for the deposit to buy a new home. 

IMAGE: Unsplash/AP

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