Social media is crammed with numerous scammers making an attempt to capitalize on Elon Musk’s identify. Simply have a look underneath any of Musk’s tweets and also you’ll see individuals promising crypto giveaways, which are literally simply scams that siphon cash away from customers. Are these scams actually price it? These are true. And I’ve obtained the tales to show it.
So as to discover out about client complaints in opposition to corporations, I file Freedom of Data Act (FOIA), requests incessantly with the FTC. Beforehand I’ve performed this with FTX, Tinder and Canon simply to call a couple of. It’s an fascinating strategy to find out about customer support issues. However once I just lately filed a FOIA request for complaints about Tesla, I acquired some paperwork that I didn’t count on.
Nearly all of complaints involved Tesla. Individuals have been complaining about points with financing and warranties. However customers have been additionally complaining about scams on social media the place the con artists have been utilizing the Tesla model and Elon Musk’s identify to tear individuals off. And there have been far more of those tales than I ever would’ve anticipated.
Virtually the entire complaints have been about crypto cash reminiscent of Ethereum
Among the scams concerned cryptocurrencies with names like Mini Tesla and Tesla Token, whereas different scams had URLs involving house exploration and appeared to capitalize on Musk’s need to ship people to Mars together with his firm SpaceX. One of many complaints even concerned an individual who claimed to work for Tesla, although I wasn’t capable of verify whether or not that was true, given the character of the FTC’s redactions of the paperwork to guard the privateness of customers.
It seems that many individuals realized the significance of not investing in suspect cryptocurrency on-line. However a few of the complaints are heartbreaking exactly as a result of it appears they didn’t be taught their lesson. One instance is when somebody claims they have been scammed out of their cash after studying that Musk was making a cryptocurrency token. Nevertheless, it seems this scheme is a fraud.
“They have been working a token pre-sale for Tesla, I used to be . However I didn’t permit myself sufficient time to do my analysis on them earlier than investing into what I believed was an precise pre-sale of a brand new Tesla token,” the grievance reads.
However the grievance to the FTC didn’t finish there. Subsequent is probably the most heartbreaking sentence.
“Elon did in truth launch a brand new token, however the one I bought was not the legit token,” the grievance continued.
Musk has not but launched his cryptocurrency token. Musk is open concerning the crypto investments he made in Bitcoin and Dogecoin. Nevertheless, if the nameless investor invested in one other token claiming to be related to Musk in any approach they have been scammed as soon as once more.
Many complaints present detailed explanations and particulars about how the victims misplaced their cash. Among the complaints are brief warnings to FTC. Others embrace URLs or social media handles that point out the place they have been allegedly scammed.
The complaints have been redacted by the FTC to guard the privateness of the individuals who obtained scammed and I’ve made extra redactions in some cases to not give out the URLs of scammers, which runs the chance of legitimizing their scams in search engines like google. A lot of the web sites within the complaints have been pulled offline already however there’s at all times the prospect they could possibly be rebooted if the scammers discover a flurry of site visitors. However searches on the Web Archive’s Wayback Machine have allowed me to confirm that these URLS have been certainly in existence over the previous two years, typically with horrible spelling and grammatical errors.
For instance, within the screenshot I’ve captured beneath on the Wayback Machine, you’ll be able to see the phrase “marathon” is misspelled as “maraton.”
For readability, some complaints have acquired very minor adjustments in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The FTC has not made any adjustments to the grievance.
Consideration, individuals! Crypto continues to be the Wild West. Particularly when scammers attempt to use Elon Musk’s picture to swindle individuals out of cash.
“I transferred $1,200 in Bitcoin”
Fb posted an commercial for Tesla Token. This seems like Elon Musk providing new cryptos as a startup supply. From my Coinbase account, I despatched $1,200 in Bitcoin. They’ve despatched me emails and I’ll ahead these to you if they’re useful. […]Sure. My cash can be returned. Nevertheless, I’d like them to be stopped and detained extra. You’ll be able to contact me any time.
“I despatched 10,000 Dogecoin within the understanding he would ship again 20,000 doge for my funding.”
I used to be watching Elon reside in motion throughout a gathering. He spoke of Dogecoin falling to 0.12 cents per coin, earlier than totally investing. The banner above the video indicated the place your Doge must be despatched. (Presumably on the time it was Elon’s public Doge pockets handle) I despatched 10,000 Dogecoin within the understanding he would ship again 20,000 Doge for my funding. My coin was by no means returned to me after I had despatched it. Crypto.com stated they couldn’t assist me. Though I tried to contact Crypto.com, they stated that they don’t cope with wallets or public funds. I’ve the pockets handle however that’s the one information I’ve for the time being. The funds have been by no means withdrawn and I simply don’t know what to do at this level. We might drastically respect your help.
“I submitted an order for 40,000 tokens”
My spouse and I shared a Fb Occasion about Tesla Tokens’ launch which led to you being despatched. [redacted](This picture can be faux. I checked out it). The picture hyperlinks to [redacted]The place you should buy Tesla tokens with cryptocurrency. The equal to 800 USDC, I positioned an order for 40,000 tokens.
. To disclaim entry, I’ve since taken any cash from that pockets. It’s also possible to fill out your private info and add paperwork like driver’s license or passport.
“Elon Musk was doubling BTC”
Elon Musk acknowledged that he was going to double BTC. To the offered handle, I despatched 1 BTC to Gemini Trade. Coinbase Trade account. I despatched 0.01.28. The subsequent night time I reported a phishing website to the US Secret Service and accomplished an IC3.gov kind. Nevertheless, my BTC by no means acquired.
“I’m an fool and by no means obtained something again”
You’ll be able to watch the reside YouTube occasion by pretending that you’re Elon Musk. [redacted]In trade for twice the quantity. [Redacted] – that is the YouTube it’s on and it continues to reside stream. Says 37k are watching now and it’s all a hoax. So I despatched ETH to the crypto handle and naturally, I’m an fool and by no means obtained something again. That is my crypto pockets [redacted]That I’ve despatched cash to is deceiving everybody.
“Now the positioning is gone and I can’t get my a reimbursement”
Instagram posted the information concerning the Tesla token sale. Once I visited the web site, they have been nonetheless promoting tokens. I made an account and bought 300 tokens. Ethereum was the foreign money I used to pay. Now the positioning is gone and I can’t get my a reimbursement.
“I clearly didn’t obtain something in return and am now at a lack of roughly $2,000”
I acquired a notification by way of Twitter that I had been added to Elon Musk’s CryptoCurrency Giveaway listing. This giveaway was run by a rip-off account named Elon Musk [redacted]Some unreliable numbers close to the top. It additionally featured the very same profile picture that Elon Musk really used. Directions offered a hyperlink. [redacted]. The web site additionally included an outline of the thrilling approach Elon Musk and Tesla Advertising and marketing staff made cryptocurrency extra fashionable by launching a contest to win Bitcoin and Ethereum. There was additionally a hyperlink on this website to www.medium.com. It was very simple to observe the foundations: You possibly can select Bitcoin or Ethereum and ship both a minimal of 0.025 Bitcoin (or 0.5 Ethereum) and you’d get double your quantity in return. This occurred inside minutes. This giveaway had a restricted time interval and was open to anybody who was . It appeared legit to me on the time. There have been tons of of feedback from fellow customers who had success, they usually acquired their views quantities. I additionally discovered picture proof. It additionally had the lock image on the prime of the webpage subsequent to its identify. This additional confirmed that this was an precise giveaway. It sounded nice to me so I signed up for the giveaway. Beneath you’ll find my receipt for the quantity I despatched in ETH, in addition to the handle of the scammers’ pockets. [redacted]I acquired nothing in return, and my Ethereum foreign money loss is roughly $2,000 USD. That is past disappointing and embarrassing. I didn’t count on this to occur. I’m not certain what to do at this level and don’t know if there may be any strategy to monitor down my funds to get them again. Within the hope that this scammer is caught, I’m reporting it.
“It was silly of me, and I by no means fall for this stuff”
Following the official Elon Musk Twitter account, I acquired a notification from Elon Musk that I had been added to his Checklist Giveaway Marathon. Clicking the hyperlink revealed that Elon Musk randomly chosen 1,000 individuals to participate in a big crypto giveaway. Get in fast to enroll [redacted]. Though it was silly, I didn’t fall for this. Perhaps it was the late night time or as a result of I used to be feeling sick. The web site stated that you could possibly ship small quantities of Bitcoin to this BTC account and Elon Musk/Tesla would return a multiplied sum. The fraudulent BTC account was this: [redacted] I noticed shortly after I despatched it that there have been small typos on the web site and that the Twitter deal with that regarded an identical to Elon Musk’s official one was not him. It was apparent that it was a rip-off to get individuals bitcoin. I simply don’t need anybody else to fall for it like I stupidly did. They’re a significant issue.
“I noticed the listing was created formally from Elon Musk’s official account on Twitter”
Twitter despatched me a discover that Elon Musk had added his listing to their website (a model new Twitter function). I entered the listing and I noticed the listing was created formally from Elon Musk’s official account on Twitter, and that’s why I trusted it. That is the url for the listing. Right here is the URL [redacted]. I despatched my bitcoins cash to this handle.
“I’ve to say, it was very properly orchestrated.”
YouTube opened instantly and I noticed the reside stream, which had 67,000 viewers. This was an interview between Elon Musk and Cathy Woods. Jack Dorsey gave a secret message for them to ship crypto. It was well-organized, I need to say. How did they get their stream to seem on YouTube’s homepage? They’re speculated to characterize my trusted subscription pages. Effectively, there have been some unidentified subscriptions I discovered in my YouTube account. The faux Ark Make investments channel additionally appeared.
“I perceive my cash might be lengthy gone”
A hyperlink was despatched to me to what regarded like a Guardian information article. It took me to the Tesla Token presale webpage, however I clicked on something. After reviewing the phrases and situations, I made a decision that this was an precise new cryptocurrency. We verified our e-mail addresses and identities, and the whole lot appeared legit to us. After that, we have been capable of purchase the Tesla Token. It wasn’t till I despatched this to a different member of the family that they began to search out some inconsistencies with what was famous on the earlier webpage that didn’t match up. The Guardian web site and Elon Musk’s tweet have been each fabricated. After reviewing the Phrases and Circumstances once more on the Tesla Token web site, I found that the identical phrases have been used virtually precisely phrase for phrase by TokenTax. One final thing I noticed was a countdown ticker. This resets on daily basis, after which strikes the discharge day ahead. (Yesterday it indicated that the final day for purchasing Tesla Token was January 4th. At present it exhibits that it’s Jan fifth). I didn’t understand paying in crypto versus every other fee technique was possible a rip-off. Whereas I’m conscious that my cash has most likely been misplaced, I need to spare somebody from dropping much more.
“I used to be scammed”
Tesla was freely giving 5,000 freebies. You’ll obtain 2-10 BTC when you ship 0.0245 BTC to their account. Because of this I despatched them 0.0245 BTC. Their account is [redacted]. It was a rip-off and I didn’t realize it. What do I must do? Do you suppose there’s a strategy to recuperate my BTC. Please assist me.
“It needs you to ship 150 in Ethereum after which you’ll get Tesla crypto”
Promote on Fb for an opportunity to win a Tesla-developed cryptocurrency. I shouldn’t have performed that and accepted it. The positioning needs you to ship 150 Ethereum cash after which you will get Tesla crypto. After you submit it, the positioning will inform you that it has canceled the transaction and supply no contact particulars.
“I purchased $200 of this coin about 10 days in the past however am unable to promote”
Mini Tesla, a cryptocurrency or alt coin is accessible. They’re web-based and have help web sites on Telegram and Twitter. Are you not sure if the corporate has ever been reported? This coin was bought $200 by me about 10 days again, however I’m not capable of promote it! This is a matter with the mini Tesla, as I’ve seen many posts previously few days. You could find out what their presents are and the chances that you have to be paying once you promote on their website. Nevertheless, nobody can really promote! One publish was written by a person who had set the slippage at 80. Nevertheless, the web site says that there’s a most of 14. It’s unattainable to get this coin offered. All solutions however nothing! This website takes your cash, not permits you to promote or wrongly promote a product that you just can not generate income from! When you contact them by way of Telegram and Twitter, and begin asking about charges or why they’ll’t promote their coin, they’ll shut down your chat and take away all messages!!
Scammer claimed Elon Musk had launched the SpaceX token. This commercial was posted on Fb by my stupidity for not conducting analysis. The corporate requested that cash be transferred to a selected pockets after which they might modify the quantity via their web site. They supplied 20 bonuses for including extra cash.
“They then personify Tesla and inform gullible people who they’ll obtain as much as 5,000 BTC”
One Twitter account with deal with [redacted] has been spreading movies on Twitter of a snippet of Elon Musk’s Twitter account, with a hyperlink to a Bitcoin giveaway. Then they painting Tesla, telling gullible prospects that they’ll obtain 5,000 BTC in trade for 0.02 to five BTC. It will permit them to confirm their addresses. You’ll be able to hyperlink to the web site [redacted]
“Tesla was mining tokens”
Whereas searching Instagram, I noticed an advert that Tesla was mining tokens. 1TT = 1.25USD. I clicked the commercial to see extra. [redacted] after inputting my credentials. After getting into my credentials, I used to be invited to purchase a minimal 200 TT for $250 USD. To deposit my cash, I used to be supplied the next ETH handle [redacted]. After sending the ETH equal of $250 USD to the ETH handle, I couldn’t entry the positioning [redacted]Once more, I needed to enter my login info. My e-mail handle was not recognised by their system, even once I tried to reset it utilizing my forgot password. I would like your assist to combat this injustice.
“…as a give away by Elon Musk”
The web site requested that you just switch Bitcoin in an effort to improve their worth. Elon Musk gave it away. It was the handle: b(6). This was the handle b(6). I transferred 0.02 Bitcoin. Transaction hash [redacted]
“It was setup to appear like he’s freely giving cryptocurrency.”
Reside Twitch stream of Elon Musk speaking to some individuals, I suppose a video, however was made look to appear as if it’s being broadcasted reside. It was setup to appear like he’s freely giving cryptocurrency. You might be requested to ship them at the very least 0.1 bitcoin. They then promise you the double quantity. On this instance, it’s 0.2 btc. Though Twitch personnel shut down the published shortly, the fakers’ website continues to be on-line [redacted]. We hope you’ll take motion to cease them.
“I invested $1,000”
On October 1, 2021 I made a $1,000 funding and acquired 424,201 tokens. Token holders have been entitled to get NFTs after every calendar quarter. Quite a few makes an attempt to get NFT distribution info from the corporate failed after tokens weren’t acquired on January 1, 2022 or later. None of those responses have been acquired as but. Within the meantime, Twitter and Fb posts encouraging traders to purchase Tesla Tokens have been posted. These tweets point out that new traders will get NFTs each quarter. This report is meant to alert others of a possible fraudulent scheme.
“I believed was an precise pre-sale of a brand new Tesla token”
A token pre-sale had been launched for Tesla. However I didn’t permit myself sufficient time to do my analysis on them earlier than investing into what I believed was an precise pre-sale of a brand new Tesla token. Elon launched a model new token. Nevertheless, I didn’t buy the legit one. Their web site was [redacted]
“44,000 for $800 price of Ethereum”
My mistake, I believed I used to be shopping for Tesla Token in a presale. For $800, 44,000 Ethereum tokens. Website had since shut down. Web site was as follows [redacted]
“Stated it was an $800 minimal funding”
The advert I noticed for Tesla Token was on Fb. So, I went there. It had Elon Musk’s identify and information throughout it and stated it was an $800 minimal funding. I created a MEW account and transferred the Ethereum funds. I’m not skilled in cryptocurrency however see it’s gaining reputation so figured I might give it a strive. After I inquired about buying and selling, they replied to me by e-mail on February 7, 222. After three days, I attempted to achieve them once more for details about buying and selling. They by no means returned my name. That’s when the web site disappeared. It received’t let me add the web site handle within the web site field above because it says it’s within the incorrect format, however that is the one handle I’ve for his or her web site that used to indicate my funding.
“They obtained my driver’s license photos and crypto pockets handle.”
Yep, noticed the information that Elon Musk was promoting Tesla cash on Fb and clicked the hyperlink. After which I’ve came upon it’s a rip-off web site. They obtained my driver’s license photos and crypto pockets handle.
“THEN I TRIED TO STOP THE PROCESS BUT IT WAS TO LATE”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is my follower as a Tesla worker. The account Elon Musk despatched me a tweet notification. [redacted]A Tesla Bitcoin Promotion. Following the hyperlink, I used to be intrigued to participate! My authenticating system, which was positioned in San Francisco, turned out to be my Fremont handle! Two gadgets tried to confirm my credentials. THEN, I attempted to cease the method nevertheless it was too late. My Coinbase pockets had acquired 0.7 bitcoin!