A German trader said that he was defrauded of $560,000 worth of Bitcoin because of a cryptocurrency scheme. The German man said that a scammer tricked him by pretending to be Elon Musk, the BBC reported.
The pseudonymous German victim from Cologne, Germany, described the process of the scheme he fell for — that wiped away most of his fortune — thinking that Musk would double his money. According to BBC, his loss is considered one of the largest theft in the “giveaway scams”.
Elon CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is a big fan of cryptocurrencies. In January, Musk’s electric-car manufacturer Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin when the digital token was trading at around $33,000. Furthermore, Musk is considered an advocate for Dogecoin — the meme-based digital token. He even named himself CEO of Dogecoin on his Twitter profile once.
Consequently, scammers try to defraud victims by pretending to be Elon Musk on different platforms. For instance, the German victim fell for a website scam that promised readers of doubling their Bitcoin as a giveaway by billionaire Musk.
How the Bitcoin scammer defrauded his victim
The German man told BBC that he clicked one of the links that mimic Musk’s profile and tweets. The professional-looking website redirected victims to an offer that asks participants to send money to the “fake” Elon. He then promises them to re-send twice as much of what they sent. The offer said that it would double quantities between 0.1 Bitcoin and 20 Bitcoin, around $5,600 and $1.1 million at the price of March 16, 2021.
To make it more real, the website scammer added a ticking timer to rise a sense of urgency to the victim’s decisions. In consequence, the German man had to act fast and sent all of his Bitcoin holdings, worth around $560,000. The BBC reported that the German victim thought: “This is definitely real.”
Despite not having any screenshots of the scamming website, BBC shared a now-deleted page on Medium, where scammers try to defraud victims using giveaway schemes.
The website owner and fraud have no links to Musk whatsoever, but victims fell for the scam.