Cryptocurrency Investors Lose $2 Million To Fake Elon Musks

By on
Elon Musk, one of the world's richest men and Tesla CEO
Elon Musk, one of the world's richest men and Tesla CEO

The Federal Trade Commission has released the latest data on cryptocurrency scams, revealing that over $2 million worth has been lost to “Elon Musk Impersonators” in the past six months alone. Since October, the number of people scammed has risen to over 12 times that of the year before, with 1,000% more funds lost.

All told, 7,000 individuals reported falling victim to scams. The FTC logged over $80 million lost, with the average loss sitting at $1,900.

The regulatory body says the new digital currencies are particularly prone to fraud, especially for those unfamiliar with the rapidly developing cryptocurrency landscape.

One popular technique is a “giveaway scam,” where someone impersonating a celebrity promises to give back any money sent to them with extra. That’s how fake Elon Musks managed such hefty profits in the latest report.

Other scams come in the form of websites masquerading as opportunities to invest in cryptocurrency mining. Some even report back to the victim that their investment is growing, but when they attempt to withdraw the money nothing happens.

Classic online dating scams are even making their way to the new era. Fully 20% of those who reported losing money in romance scams said it was through cryptocurrency.

For those wondering how to tell solid investments from scams, the FTC offers some simple advice: “Promises of enormous, guaranteed returns are simply lies.”

The age group most vulnerable to the scams were people in their 20s and 30s, who lost more on investment scams than any other type of fraud.

The FTC wrapped up its report with three pieces of advice the avoid cryptocurrency scams.

  • Promises of guaranteed huge returns or claims that your cryptocurrency will be multiplied are always scams.
  • The cryptocurrency itself is the investment. You make money if you’re lucky enough to sell it for more than you paid. Period. Don’t trust people who say they know a better way.
  • If a caller, love interest, organization, or anyone else insists on cryptocurrency, you can bet it’s a scam.
Join the Discussion