It seems that the old crypto giveaway scams are not as old and outdated as we though. People are still falling in 2021, feeding the scammers with large amounts of money.
As hard as it may seem, there are still plenty of people who think Elon Musk is going to give them money if they send him Bitcoin (Spoiler Alert: He won’t, no matter how rich he is), and the gambit has been revived in the last few days, attracting unwary people non-stop.
Bleeping Computer and Metamask estimated that in about one week, scammers have received at least $587,000 from unsuspecting innocents using the old “send me X amount of crypto and I’ll double it” routine.
The Good Ol’ Crypto Giveaway Scam is Still Profitable
In recent weeks, there have been bots impersonating or replying to verified Twitter accounts. These bots claim to have received money from great crypto celebrities such as the Winklevoss twins or Elon Musk and attach a link to a giveaway that invites people to deposit money to a cryptocurrency address to immediately receive twice the amount.
Have you seen this event yet? Elon made me a rich person! Check it out ASAP! pic.twitter.com/H0oct7T6gn
— Kat Odell (@kat_odell) January 14, 2021
Some of the more popular addresses have collected several thousand dollars, with one in particular, receiving $400K in a matter of days.
But crypto scammers are not Bitcoin maximalists. They also accept Ethereum, even though they have only made less than $3000 with this altcoin.
Scammers usually go to other platforms —like Twitch, Youtube or Facebook— to collect even more victims. Ripple tried to take actions against Youtube for allowing scammers to spread out fake videos as paid advertisements. This initiative didn’t take off, and complains about scams involving Elon Musk or Ripple appear from time to time in video streaming platforms.
Scammers Have Been Doing The Same For Quite Some Time
This type of scam is not new. In fact, it’s probably the best-known scam in the crypto-verse. They started to spread in late 2017 to early 2018, in the middle of the crypto boom. At that time, the scammers were posing as the original crypto personalities (like CZ, Charlie Lee, or Vitalik Buterin) and responded to the official tweets. Users perceived the rely as a tweet from the original account and rushed to send their funds.
It was so irritable that several influencers changed their names to specify that they would never send funds to anyone.
This type of scam peaked in 2020 when Crypto Twitter witnessed with stupefaction how the official and verified accounts of great personalities (like Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or the official Apple Store) promoted crypto giveaways.
In reality, a group of hackers gained access to Twitter’s “god mode,” being able to do basically whatever they wanted… and with all that power, all they came up with was a low-level Bitcoin scam with a profit of around $120,000.
Considering that a simple photoshop job and a fake account have produced even better results, perhaps doing the biggest hack in the history of social media turned out to be a little bit of an overkill if all they wanted was a couple of Bitcoin to fill their pockets.