Crypto scammers who impersonate and operate under the Elon Musk Bitcoin giveaway have unfortunately made around $2 million from victims.
These scammers scout potential victims on social media outlets like Twitter, YouTube as Elon Musk fakes, and charges double the amount for anything that goes into a particular wallet.
Elon Musk Bitcoin giveaway scammers use 66 fake wallet addresses
Justin Lister, CEO of Adaptive, a cybersecurity firm, tracked 66 different addresses already reported to be fake and used by hackers or criminals. Lister tracked customized addresses that featured Elon Musk, Tesla, or SpaceX on them. Examples of such addresses are “1Musk…” or “1Elonmusk…”
Beyond using the Elon Musk Bitcoin giveaway, scammers impersonate other famous tech giants to extort people. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Brian Armstrong are some tech giants these scammers impersonate to deceive victims.
Scammers also employ sophisticated techniques using vanity wallets with addresses customized to feature names like Elon Musk, SpaceX, or Tesla to gain the trust of their victims. Reportedly, Elon Musk Bitcoin giveaway scams that use this customized wallet address tactics are on the rise.
Promotional videos by Elon Musk Bitcoin giveaway scam have also been featured on YouTube, where the real Elon Musk appears in an interview while talking about the recent SpaceX launch.
Fact-checking scams, vanity wallet addresses
It is never a good idea in any case for victims to send BTC to wallets with claims that they double whatever victim sends; it has and continues to remain a common format used by tricksters. They prey on victims’ ignorance or negligence for their own benefits.
However, in cases when victims in doubt, they are advised to cross-check if addresses they are given have once been reported on Bitcoinabuse.com. As long as wallet addresses sent to victims feature on the site, then it is certain the address is a scam address.
Bitcoin abuse.com is a website where scam wallet addresses are reported, kept, and monitored. As at press time, the site reveals that 4,636 scam reports were made last month, and 680 have bee made last week. Another similar scam monitoring site launched last week, dubbed scam alert. It was launched by blockchain monitor Whale alert.