Customers misplaced over $2 million in cryptocurrency to scammers impersonating Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk during the last six months, the Federal Commerce Fee reported Monday.
“Guarantees of assured big returns or claims that your cryptocurrency might be multiplied are all the time scams,” the fee mentioned in its Monday report.
For years, scammers have posed as Musk with the intention to fraud social media customers out of cryptocurrency. They use misleading techniques on websites like Twitter, typically utilizing the identical avatar photos as Musk’s personal account and barely misspelling his username. Pretending to be Musk, the scammers will ask victims to ship forex to a selected pockets deal with in alternate for receiving a bigger fee in return. The scams violate Twitter’s coverage in opposition to misleading accounts, however moderators have struggled to rein within the exercise, and it stays prevalent on the platform.
The $2 million determine was revealed in a bigger report on cryptocurrency printed by the FTC on Monday. Since final October, customers reported dropping greater than $80 million in cryptocurrency scams, growing “greater than ten-fold year-over-year,” the fee mentioned. Customers lose round $1,900 by way of these scams on common.
Musk himself was a goal in one of many largest Twitter bitcoin scams final summer season. In one of many largest breaches in Twitter historical past, attackers compromised accounts belonging to Musk, President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, Invoice Gates, and even Apple to advertise a bitcoin rip-off. The attackers obtained practically $120,000 from the rip-off that pressured Twitter to dam all verified customers from posting new tweets for a number of hours.