You have probably heard of these scams, Verified accounts on Twitter get hacked, the name changed to Elon Musk or Tesla, and they send out cryptocurrency tweets asking you to send some crypto and they will be returned 10 fold.
Now a report shows that cryptocurrency scammers pretending to be the Tesla Boss have made more than $2 million (KES 200 Million) in the last six months alone.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has raised alarm over the high rate of cryptocurrency scams which are up by 1000pc.
The FTC reports showed that they had received more than 7,000 complaints from users who had been scammed more than $80 million worth of cryptocurrency since October 2020.
The scams lure people by starting off as good tip boards before followers are redirected to fake investment websites.
How Elon Musk Impersonators Scam Users
The scammers impersonate influential Twitter users by using closely related names or copying the real names of the persons from their real accounts. In Elon Musk’s case, one user had their name with a fake verification badge as their username, making it easy to dupe the unsuspecting public.
They often post replies to popular tweets made by influential personalities to give their messages clout on the social network.
Last year, many users lost millions in cryptocurrency after hackers compromised accounts belonging to celebrities and politicians.
The FTC has since issued a set of guidelines to help people avoid such scammers
- guaranteed returns are always fake
- Promises of free money are also fake
- scammers often make big claims without details or explanations
- celebrity endorsements or testimonials are easily faked
- be extremely wary of anyone asking you to pay by wire transfer or gift card, which are virtually impossible to recover