Elon Musk is famous for many things: Tesla, rocket trips to mars (eventually), a very chunky looking cyber-truck, and calling someone a ‘paedo guy’. But over the new year, Elon Musk popped into my Twitter feed for a much more interesting thing…free money!
Social Scams and Social Engineering
This week’s scam post, the first of 2020, is dedicated to a social media scam that I saw while scrolling through my Twitter timeline. Social media scams are becoming more prevalent. In our “2019, Year of the Scam” round-up, we pulled out social media-based scams as being an increasingly used method to place scams in front of users. Social media is an interesting medium because many people use it frequently. We trust it because we have friends and family on the same platform. We see big names on there too – like Elon Musk. It is great for fraudsters because of this inherent trust factor and because they can easily drop links in there – links that go to spoof sites. Social media is perfect for social engineering.
Musk’s free Bitcoin!
Trump, as usual, took to Twitter to announce to the world the death of Iranian, Qasem Soleimani.
The tweet quickly became a talking point, with thousands of people commenting. One of the comments jumped out at me. It was a tweet that looked like it was advertising another tweet from Elon Musk. The Musk tweet stated that he was “throwing a crypto party” and giving away bitcoins!
There was a link in the tweet to click on to get your free cryptocurrency. The next tweet replied by attempting to legitimise the claim, saying they had used it themselves and received free bitcoins.
What could possibly go wrong…
Well, apparently it did go wrong, for thousands of people. One Reddit user announced on the site that they had lost $3000.
What happens if You Click the Link in the tweet?
I checked the site to make sure it was not infected with malware. When I clicked on the link (try to avoid doing so, it will only encourage them) I was taken to what looked like a Medium blog page. The page had further links, that when clicked, took you to a page to claim your free cryptocurrency. I clicked on this free bitcoin page…
The new page opened letting me know how I could receive my free bitcoins. To do so, I just had to place between 0.1 and 10 bitcoins into the wallet address as shown. I would then receive double bitcoins back.
Now call me a cynic, but I don’t believe in Santa Claus, especially one bearing untraceable crypto gifts.
Even with the comments on the blog page showing that this is real, and no one was scammed, I’m afraid I remain unconvinced.
Thanks, but no thanks, to free money
As the old saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In 2020, there is no such thing as free cryptocurrency either. Elon Musk might make exciting cars, but I doubt he will be giving away his money anytime soon.
Social media is the perfect place to find scams like this. It has a massive audience and someone, somewhere, will fall for the fraudster’s tricks. Be vigilant when using any social medium and check and double check anything that seems too good to be true.
Why not help your colleagues stay safe and send them this little reminder. Feel free to edit, copy/paste the advice below:
The Elon Musk Bitcoin Scam
Twitter is being used as a platform to scam users. The latest scam is an offer for free cryptocurrency, seemingly from the Twitter account of Elon Musk. The scam looks real. It takes you to a page explaining how to get the free crypto, which looks like it is written by Elon Musk. It is a scam.
IGNORE ANY TWEETS OFFERING FREE BITCOINS THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE FRAUDULENT.
For more information on what to do if you receive a phishing email check out “What to Do if You Click on a Phishing Link?”
Don’t forget to share this with your colleagues and friends and help them stay safe.
Let’s keeping breaking scams!