Scams are now trending in social media. Scammers are creating newer methods to influence the users and make them fall for their tarp. The major ones are the gift scams and the giveaway scams which keep on coming up that compromises personal information of people. The scammers put up the scams in such a way that they look so legitimate. To add genuinity to the scams, they attach personal reviews of people and details of people who got advantage through this scam. When we see more people are into this, automatically we would try that out. It is always like that, people like to follow the crowd!
Recently, a man named Sebastian was tricked of a fake Elon Musk Giveaway scam in which he lost around 407,000 Euros.
One night Sebastian and his wife was sitting in their couch and watching Netflix. Suddenly Sebastian received a notification in Twitter from Elon Musk. The post had a description and a link. He clicked the link of the genuinely looking tweet and saw that Elon Musk was giving away double money for Bitcoins.
He was lead to a genuinely looking website where the giveaway was taking place in full swing.
The giveaway was limited to a particular time limit and it promised users that they could double the money. The giveaway was conducted by the leading car manufacturer, Tesla headed by the CEO Elon Musk. They asked for Bitcoin ranging from 0.1 to 20 so that they can double the amount and give it back.
- Bitcoin = 4,300 Euros
20 Bitcoin = 860,000 Euros
The scam looked very genuine as if it was the carbon copy of Elon Musk’s twitter account. It even had a verification blue tick. Sebastian went through the post, checked the account and found no sceptism. He believed that the post is true and can double his amount. Now he was confused whether he has to send 5 or 10 Bitcoin. But while thinking about getting more money, he fixed the number 10. He successfully sent the Bitcoin through the transaction page in the link and waited for his amount to arrive in the Bitcoin wallet. After every minute, he felt nervous and kept on refreshing the screen.
He went on looking at the wallet till the timer went down. At the end he realized that he was a victim of a big scam.
As a person who lost half of his savings, he tried to contact the scammers and tweeted them to get a portion of his money back. But there was no response. Lately he stopped trying and considered his money gone forever.
Sebastian was one among several victims affected by this scam.
Cyber security officials have reported that the scammers are on their way making a huge amount of money in 2021. As per the records and cases reported, they have already earned 18 million Euros in the first three months of 2021.
From the time giveaway scams have emerged, the scammers are following a same pattern and strategy. But we are not able to control them and stop them from affecting people. In some cases, they create a fake account and steal money. In some other situations, they steal the account having verified tick to make the scam look legitimate.
Twitter is the most targeted platform used by the scammers. But they also launch giveaway scams through Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
We may think people falling for these scams are stupid but as per the studies, the people who have lost Bitcoin are very articulate and well educated.
Sebastian agrees to the fact that this happened not because of his stupid behaviour but due to his greedy towards money. This greedy feeling of people is being utilized by the scammers to earn money.
He filed a complaint against this atrocity and believes that Bitcoin exchanges will be proactively helping him out.
The biggest giveaway scam that happened in Twitter was during 2020, when the scammers took over the accounts of celebrities like Bill gates, Kim Kardashan etc. Here they stole around 118,000 dollars. But eventually they were arrested.
How to prevent Giveaway scams in social media?
- Before clicking on a link, verify the source and check whether they are from trusted sources.
- Always read the statement and check out for spelling and grammatical errors.
- Never share personal information, financial details, passwords and OTP to anyone.
- When you come across something suspicious, report them immediately.