Social media is full of numerous scammers making an attempt to capitalize on Elon Musk’s identify. Simply have a look below 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. However does anybody really fall for these? Sure, they actually do. And I’ve obtained the tales to show it.
I usually file Freedom of Data Act (FOIA) requests with the FTC to study completely different complaints that buyers have with specific corporations. Beforehand I’ve performed this with FTX, Tinder and Canon simply to call a couple of. It’s an fascinating method to study customer support issues. However after I lately filed a FOIA request for complaints about Tesla, I obtained some paperwork that I didn’t count on.
Lots of the complaints have been about Tesla, after all, and points individuals have been having with their automobiles, warranties and financing. However shoppers 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.
The complaints nearly all concerned crypto cash like Ethereum
A number of 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 want to ship people to Mars along with his firm SpaceX. One of many complaints even concerned an individual who claimed to work for Tesla, although I wasn’t in a position to 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 appears most of the individuals discovered a lesson to not spend money on sketchy cryptocurrency on-line. However among the complaints are heartbreaking exactly as a result of it appears they didn’t study their lesson. In a single instance, somebody explains they have been fleeced out of cash as a result of they learn that Musk had began a brand new cryptocurrency token, however it turned out to be a rip-off.
“They have been operating 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 criticism reads.
However the criticism to the FTC didn’t finish there. The following sentence is the really heartbreaking half.
“Elon did actually launch a brand new token, however the one I bought was not the legit token,” the criticism continued.
To be clear, Musk has by no means launched his personal cryptocurrency token. Musk has been public about his investments in crypto like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. But when this nameless particular person invested in one other token purporting to be formally related to Musk indirectly, they received scammed once more.
Lots of the complaints are extremely detailed, with explanations for a way a lot cash every particular person misplaced. However others are only one line of warning issued to the FTC, usually with a URL or social media deal with of the place the particular person presumably received scammed.
The complaints have been redacted by the FTC to guard the privateness of the individuals who received scammed and I’ve made extra redactions in some cases to not give out the URLs of scammers, which runs the danger of legitimizing their scams in search engines like google and yahoo. Many of the web sites within the complaints have been pulled offline already however there’s at all times the prospect they might be rebooted if the scammers discover a flurry of 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 under on the Wayback Machine, you possibly can see the phrase “marathon” is misspelled as “maraton.”
In some circumstances, very minor spelling, punctuation and capitalization modifications have been made to the complaints under for readability. However in any other case the complaints are simply as they have been obtained by the FTC.
Watch out on the market, people. Crypto continues to be the Wild West in each sense of the time period. Particularly when scammers attempt to use Elon Musk’s picture to swindle individuals out of cash.
“I transferred $1,200 in Bitcoin”
I noticed an advert on Fb for Tesla Token. Made to appear to be a brand new cryptocurrency supplied by Elon Musk doing a begin up providing. I transferred $1,200 in Bitcoin from my Coinbase account. I’ve the emails from them and if it helps, I can ahead them to you. […] Sure, I would love my a reimbursement. However I wish to see them stopped and arrested extra. Please be at liberty to contact me anytime.
“I despatched 10,000 Dogecoin within the understanding he would ship again 20,000 doge for my funding.”
Was watching a stay feed of Elon in a gathering. He talked about about Dogecoin going again right down to 0.12 per coin earlier than absolutely investing. On high of the video was a banner saying the place to ship your Doge to. (Presumably on the time it was Elon’s public Doge pockets deal with) I despatched 10,000 Dogecoin within the understanding he would ship again 20,000 Doge for my funding. I despatched, and by no means obtained my coin in trade. I contacted Crypto.com, they usually mentioned there was nothing they might do. I’ve tried to contact the blockchain web site however they don’t take care of public funds or wallets. I’ve the pockets deal with however that’s the one data 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. Any assist could be appreciated.
“I submitted an order for 40,000 tokens”
My spouse shared a Fb occasion about Tesla Tokens being launched which despatched you to [redacted] (That is additionally pretend now that I took the time to look). That picture on the positioning hyperlinks to [redacted] the place you should purchase Tesla tokens utilizing cryptocurrency. I submitted an order for 40,000 tokens which is the equal of 800 USDC
. I’ve since eliminated any forex out of that pockets to disclaim them entry. This website additionally has an space to fill in private knowledge and add documentation like drivers license and passport.
“Elon Musk was doubling BTC”
Elon Musk was doubling BTC and said no matter BTC despatched he would double it and ship it again to handle my BTC got here from. I despatched 1 BTC from Gemini Change to Tackle supplied. I despatched .01 .28 from Coinbase Change account. I reported phishing Web site to US Secret Service that evening and stuffed out an IC3.gov report and my BTC has by no means been returned.
“I’m an fool and by no means received something again”
On YouTube that they had a stay occasion pretending to be Elon Musk- to go right here [redacted] in trade for double the cash. [Redacted] – that is the YouTube it’s on and it continues to stay stream. Says 37k are watching now and it’s all a hoax. So I despatched ETH to the crypto deal with and naturally, I’m an fool and by no means received something again. That is the crypto pockets [redacted] that I despatched the cash to that’s scamming everybody.
“Now the positioning is gone and I can’t get my a reimbursement”
I noticed the announcement of the sale of Tesla tokens on Instagram. I went to see the positioning they usually have been promoting tokens. I opened an account and purchased 300 tokens. I paid in Ethereum. 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 obtained a notification by way of Twitter that I had been added to Elon Musk’s CryptoCurrency Giveaway checklist. The rip-off account that was operating this giveaway was named Elon Musk [redacted] with some obscure numbers on the finish that I can not bear in mind. The account additionally had the identical profile image that the true Elon Musk used, as properly. The directions supplied a hyperlink to [redacted]. On this web site, there was a quick description of how the Tesla advertising workforce and Elon Musk created an thrilling alternative to additional promote cryptocurrency by initiating a giveaway of Bitcoin and Ethereum. On this web site, there was additionally a hyperlink to www.medium.com. The foundations appeared quite simple: you could possibly go for Bitcoin or Ethereum, and ship a minimal quantity of both one (0.025 Bitcoin or 0.5 Ethereum), and in flip, would obtain double the quantity that you just despatched, inside a really brief period of time (minutes). The giveaway was marketed as first come, first serve, and would finish after 5,000BTC/100,000ETH was given away. I did some fast investigating and it appeared very legit on the time, with a whole bunch of feedback of fellow individuals having success and receiving their perspective quantities, with photograph proof. The web site additionally contained the lock image within the internet deal with bar on the high subsequent to the web site identify, which additional satisfied me that it was an actual giveaway. This after all appeared like an excellent deal to me, so I made a decision I needed to partake on this giveaway. Under is my receipt of the quantity of ETH I despatched, together with the scammers pockets deal with: [redacted] I clearly didn’t obtain something in return and am now at a lack of roughly $2,000 USD value of Ethereum coin. I’m past disheartened and embarrassed for my lack of knowledge and gullibility and didn’t assume that this is able to or may ever occur to me. I’m not positive what to do at this level and don’t know if there may be any method to observe down my funds to get them again. I needed to report this in hopes that the scammer will likely be caught so this doesn’t occur to anybody else.
“It was silly of me, and I by no means fall for this stuff”
I adopted the official Elon Musk account on Twitter and instantly received a notification that Elon Musk added me to a Listing Giveaway Marathon. I clicked the checklist to see what it was and it mentioned that Elon Musk had determined to randomly select 1,000 new followers who can take part in a giant crypto giveaway. Hurry as much as be a part of at [redacted]. It was silly of me, and I by no means fall for this stuff so possibly it was as a result of it was late at evening or the pandemic is attending to me however I fell for it. I went to the web site and it mentioned to ship a small quantity of Bitcoin to this BTC deal with and Elon Musk/Tesla would ship again a multiplied quantity. This was the fraudulent BTC deal with: [redacted] I spotted shortly after I despatched it that there have been small typos on the web site and that the Twitter deal with that seemed an identical to Elon Musk’s official one was not him. I knew then that this was a con rip-off making an attempt to con individuals out of Bitcoin. I simply don’t need anybody else to fall for it like I stupidly did. I hope you possibly can crack down on them.
“I noticed the checklist was created formally from Elon Musk’s official account on Twitter”
I received a notification and Twitter mentioned that Elon Musk has added his checklist (a brand new function on Twitter). I entered the checklist and I noticed the checklist was created formally from Elon Musk’s official account on Twitter, and that’s why I trusted it. The checklist cowl image was written Tesla, 5,000 BTC giveaway. That is the url [redacted]. I despatched my cash to this Bitcoins deal with.
“I’ve to say, it was very properly orchestrated.”
I opened YouTube and instantly noticed a stay stream with 67,000 viewers. It was an interview with Elon Musk, Cathy Woods, Jack Dorsey, discussing crypto, and giving a secret message to ship them crypto. I’ve to say, it was very properly orchestrated. My query is, HOW did they handle to get their stream to pop up on the startup of YouTube? These are presupposed to be my trusted subscriber pages. Effectively, I found a couple of unknown subscriptions in my YouTube account. In addition they had a pretend YouTube web page Ark Make investments.
“I perceive my cash might be lengthy gone”
I obtained a hyperlink to what seemed to be a information article from the Guardian web site. Nevertheless, once you clicked something on the web page it directed you to the Tesla Token presale web site. I reviewed what I believed was a brand new cryptocurrency being offered and reviewed the phrases and circumstances and so on. Every thing seemed legit to myself and one other member of the family so we proceeded to get our identities and emails verified. As soon as that was accomplished we proceeded to buy the Tesla Token. It wasn’t till I despatched this to a different member of the family that they began to seek out some inconsistencies with what was famous on the earlier webpage that didn’t match up. As an example, the Elon Musk tweet was fabricated, and the Guardian Web site was additionally fabricated. I went again into the Tesla Token website and reviewed the phrases and circumstances once more and located that they have been copied nearly phrase for phrase from an organization known as TokenTax. The very last thing that I observed is that there’s a countdown ticker on the web page and it resets daily and strikes the discharge date to the subsequent day (yesterday it mentioned the final day to purchase was Jan 4th and now it says Jan fifth). I didn’t understand paying in crypto versus another cost methodology was seemingly a rip-off. I perceive my cash might be lengthy gone however I wish to save another particular person from doubtlessly shedding much more.
“I used to be scammed”
They mentioned it was 5,000 giveaway which Tesla is giving individuals. If I ship the 0.02 to 1 BTC, I’ll get 2 to 10 BTC. So I despatched 0.0245 BTC to their account. Their account is [redacted]. I used to be scammed and didn’t find out about it. What ought to I do? Is there any risk to get again my BTC? Assist me please.
“It desires you to ship 150 in Ethereum after which you’ll get Tesla crypto”
Advert on Fb to get in on a brand new cryptocurrency by Tesla. I ought to have identified higher and fell for it. It desires you to ship 150 in Ethereum after which you’ll get Tesla crypto. When you ship it, it says the transaction was canceled and there’s no contact data on the positioning.
“I purchased $200 of this coin about 10 days in the past however am unable to promote”
Mini Tesla is a crypto or alt coin, they’re web primarily based however have help websites on Twitter and Telegram! Unsure if this firm has been reported earlier than!? I purchased $200 of this coin about 10 days in the past however am unable to promote! And studying the posts over the previous couple of days have discovered that this can be a massive downside with mini Tesla! On their web site you possibly can see what they provide and percentages you need to pay when promoting! However nobody can promote!! I did learn one publish from a man who set the slippage to promote at 80 to promote! But there web site states a max of 14! I’ve tried every part to promote this coin! All suggestions however to no avail! So what this website is doing is simply taking the cash and never letting you promote and wrongly promoting a product you cant generate profits on!! And on contact via Telegram or Twitter should you begin to ask concerning the charges and why you cant promote there coin they shut you down and delete all chat!!!
Scammed claiming Elon Musk releasing SpaceX token. My very own stupidity in not doing analysis first – noticed this commercial on Fb. They requested for cash to be despatched to a selected pockets, then would regulate the quantity on their very own web site. Then they supplied 20 bonus for placing in more cash.
“They then personify Tesla and inform gullible people who they may obtain as much as 5,000 BTC”
A Twitter account that goes by the 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. They then personify Tesla and inform gullible people who they may obtain as much as 5,000 BTC for an trade of 0.02 – 5 BTC, in order that they’ll confirm their deal with. Hyperlink to web site: [redacted]
“Tesla was mining tokens”
An advert popped up on Instagram whereas I used to be shopping that Tesla was mining tokens that 1TT = 1.25 USD and after I clicked on the supply, it took me to [redacted] after inputting my credentials. There I used to be supplied to buy a minimal of 200 TT which amounted to $250 USD. I used to be then supplied this following ETH deal with to deposit my cost [redacted]. After sending the ETH equal of $250 USD to the ETH deal with, I couldn’t entry the positioning [redacted] once more with my login particulars. Even after I tried getting into forgotten password so I can get a reset hyperlink on my mail, they mentioned my e mail just isn’t acknowledged on their system. Please help me preventing this injustice.
“…as a give away by Elon Musk”
This web site requested to switch Bitcoin to multiply them as a give away by Elon Musk. This was the deal with b(6). I ended up transferring 0.02 Bitcoin to this deal with. Transaction hash [redacted]
“It was setup to appear to be he’s gifting away cryptocurrency.”
Dwell Twitch stream of Elon Musk speaking to some individuals, I suppose a video, however was made look to look as if it’s being broadcasted stay. It was setup to appear to be he’s gifting away cryptocurrency. They ask you to ship them 0.1 or extra bitcoin for instance they usually say you’ll then obtain the doubled quantity, on this case 0.2 btc. Twitch employees shut down the printed somewhat quick, however the website the scammers run continues to be up [redacted]. Hope you possibly can take some motion towards them, thanks.
“I invested $1,000”
I invested $1,000 on October 1, 2021, and eceived 424,201 tokens. As a token holder, every investor was to obtain NFTs on the finish of every calendar quarter. After not receiving tokens on or after January 1, 2022, a number of makes an attempt have been made to contact the corporate concerning NFT distribution issues. As of right now, responses have been obtained, and over the previous a number of days Fb and Twitter posts have been made encouraging new buyers to spend money on the Tesla Tokens, indicating they may obtain NFTs on a quarterly foundation. The aim of that is to report a doable fraudulent scheme and forestall others from shedding cash.
“I believed was an precise pre-sale of a brand new Tesla token”
They have been operating 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. Elon did actually launch a brand new token, however the one I bought was not the legit token. The web site they used was [redacted]
“44,000 for $800 value of Ethereum”
I believed I used to be buying Tesla Token in a pre-sale. 44,000 for $800 value of Ethereum. Website had since shut down. The web site was this [redacted]
“Mentioned it was an $800 minimal funding”
I noticed an advert for Tesla Token on Fb and went to the positioning. It had Elon Musk’s identify and data throughout it and mentioned it was an $800 minimal funding. I opened a MEW pockets and despatched the Ethereum funds. I’m not skilled in cryptocurrency however see it’s gaining recognition so figured I might give it a strive. They emailed me backwards and forwards a couple of instances on 2/7/22 as I requested about after I can begin buying and selling they usually mentioned the pre-sale ends in 2 days. After 3 days I reached again out asking about buying and selling and by no means heard again. That’s when the web site disappeared. It gained’t let me add the web site deal with within the web site field above because it says it’s within the unsuitable format, however that is the one deal with I’ve for his or her web site that used to point out my funding.
“They received my driver’s license photos and crypto pockets deal with.”
Yeah have seen a information on Fb about Elon Musk promoting Tesla cash and I’ve clicked on the hyperlink to purchase. After which I’ve discovered it’s a rip-off web site. They received my driver’s license photos and crypto pockets deal with.
“THEN I TRIED TO STOP THE PROCESS BUT IT WAS TO LATE”
As a Tesla worker I comply with the CEO of Tesla Elon Musk. I obtained a notification on Twitter from the account Elon Musk [redacted] a couple of Tesla promotion for Bitcoin. I adopted the hyperlink and I used to be tempted to take part! Within the technique of authenticating I observed that my authenticating data system was from San Francisco, whereas I reside in Fremont! I noticed two gadgets making an attempt to authenticate my credentials! THEN I TRIED TO STOP THE PROCESS BUT IT WAS TO LATE. 0.7 bitcoin had left from my Coinbase pockets!