Elon Musk is much loved by the crypto community, and many even think he is the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.
However, to a German man, his name will forever evoke one of the worst nightmares of his life. This is because he lost over $ 500 due to a scam promoted on Twitter, in the name of Tesla's CEO (Tesla shares - TSLA ticker).
Sebastian was browsing Twitter one night when he came across a tweet from Musk advertising Dogecoin. “Dojo 4 Doge”, he recalls in an interview with the BBC.
What misled him
It was the responses to the tweet that piqued her interest. “Elon Musk” seemed to be giving away Bitcoin, Sebastian recalls. He clicked on a link which directed him to a "professional looking website on which" Musk "asked anyone with BTC to send it to double its value." But Sebastian did not know that the site belonged to scammers who impersonated "Tesla Technoking".
On the website, scammers urged visitors to send BTC, pledging to double their value and send them back within 20 minutes. Sebastian thought this could be an unprecedented opportunity and sent the scammers 10 BTC.
Once the funds were sent it glued to the screen, as time passed, even beyond the required 20 minutes. Despite furiously updating his digital wallet every 30 seconds, he never got his money back.
“I threw my head on the sofa cushions and my heart was pounding. I thought I had just thrown away all my family's money, the early retirement fund and all my upcoming holidays with my children, ”he told the BBC.
These scams are on the rise
Sebastian revealed to the BBC that he had bought the 10 BTC in 2017 for $ 40.000, before the cryptocurrency exploded. Within weeks of the purchase, his investment had doubled in value. And its 10 BTC has risen in value to over $ 500.000 in the current bull run.
Sebastian isn't the only Bitcoin holder who has fallen victim to scammers. According to Whale Alert, an on-chain data analytics platform, these scams have skyrocketed in recent months.
However, Whale Alert founder Frank van Weert admits that 10 BTC was the largest amount he has ever seen lost in a transaction.
Whale Alert observed how the scammers collected 10 BTC anonymously a few days later. The Amsterdam-based firm has contacted authorities to help recover the funds. However, they claim that the police are either reluctant or unable to help the man.
Further data from Whale Alert reveals that 10.500 people were victims of similar scams last year. In the first three months of 2021, at least half of that number have already lost money to these scammers. According to Van Weert, these scams increase every time the price of Bitcoin rises. So, we can only advise you to be very, very careful!