Why Social Media Giveaways Should Be Avoided..
Phony cryptocurrency giveaways have been around for years. These fake promotions usually promise to send you back double of what you have sent them. The sender usually finds out that he has been duped shortly after sending the funds and not receiving double as promised. These sorts of scams happen across the board with nearly every cryptocurrency or big-name influencer.
CCMRT & the Fake Musk Bitcoin Giveaway
Recently a Redditor called ccmrt took to Reddit and told his story. Apparently he fell prey to a fake account impersonating Elon Musk which was advertising a "Bitcoin Giveaway"
"I was browsing Twitter and saw a post that appeared to be Elon Musk tweeting about a "New Years Crypto Party Giveaway". I navigated to the website in the tweet and it appeared that Elon Musk was giving away crypto and all you had to do was send in some crypto to verify your wallet address and they would send back what you sent plus up to double what you sent in back. In the moment everything looked legit to me and it seemed that there was a limited amount of time that this would last so I stupidly and frantically rushed to my CoinBase account and sent 0.4BTC or around $3000 USD. Immediately after I sent the money I got scared and regretted not doing more verification on my end to verify the giveaway. Low and behold after only a little digging it became very clear that I just got scammed.
Here was the tweet I saw: https://twitter.com/Eric77461769/status/1213122989480271877?s=20
The website in the tweet was https://muskfun.info/ and it appeared to redirect to a legit Medium Article by Elon Musk. I then clicked the Bitcoin giveaway link in the article and it took me here: https://muskfun.info/btc/
The final site I went to is where I was instructed to send the Bitcoin. It looked legit to me at the time and there was a live log of transactions. But had I looked just a little deeper I would have realized so many signs that this was a scam.
I never checked Elon Musks Official Twitter Account to validate that he made this tweet. I just looked at the screenshot that someone else fabricated for this scam. Initially I was a little skeptical but figured I would checkout the website anyway. Elon has been known to do some crazy things.
The URL took me to a convincing clone of a Medium Article with Elon Musk as the author but it was actually not a redirect as the URL still said https://muskfun.info/ which in its self is a suspicious website name that should have tipped me off. All the comments were raving about how this worked but they were obviously doctored as well.
The final website was the same as the Medium article except it had /btc at the end.
Countless other things I should have noticed but did not.
I'm upset that I lost my money but I could have lost a lot more. I'm mostly just embarrassed. I'm a Software Developer at a large tech company and even used to work at Geek Squad so I am very familiar with these kind of scams. I never thought something like this would happen to me because I consider myself very tech savvy consumer.
I did some Google searching to see if there was any way for me to get my money back through any legal means or by reporting fraud to Coinbase but as I guessed with Crytpo you are pretty much out of luck.
Thanks for listening to my story. Feel free to laugh at my expense. Learn from my mistake. If anyone knows how to give this scammer payback feel free to let me know how!
EDIT: Here is the log of my transaction: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/e806b41205e82452768d1bd7fded2b7e2cfdcd976e469daf07d7a8520f98a930
How To Avoid Fake Give-aways
Always take things on the Internet with a big grain of salt. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Verify accounts and website addresses to avoid common phishing scams. Keep in mind that no one gives out something of value while expecting nothing in return. Finally, never send a large amount of cryptocurrency to anyone or anywhere without testing a very small amount first for confirmation.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado