SpaceX and BitOK recently exposed a deceptive cryptocurrency giveaway scheme where fraudsters impersonated Elon Musk, successfully amassing $165,000 in illicit donations.
The elaborate plan orchestrated by scammers incorporated the dissemination of manipulated videos featuring Elon Musk through deepfake technology. These videos were presented in live YouTube broadcasts, with a QR code displayed, directing viewers to a deceptive website. On this site, participants were instructed to send cryptocurrency to specified addresses under the pretense of entering the giveaway. The scammers promised a refund of the sent cryptocurrency to their wallets, coupled with a 200% bonus after the transaction was completed.
To add an additional layer of deception, fraudulent giveaway announcements, masquerading as SpaceX communications, were disseminated on a YouTube channel boasting 180,000 subscribers. The unsuspecting victims, lured by the false promise of a cryptocurrency windfall, fell prey to the scam.
The ill-gotten gains from this deceitful operation amounted to $165,000, comprising various cryptocurrencies, including 2.48 BTC (approximately $91,566), $2,339 in USDT stablecoin, and about 33.36 ETH (equivalent to roughly $65,449). Additionally, the scammers managed to obtain approximately $207 in USDT BEP-20, around $1,093 in USDT on the Polygon sidechain, and 58,164 Dogecoin, valued at about $5,045.
This incident underscores the increasing sophistication of cryptocurrency scams, highlighting the need for heightened vigilance within the community to prevent falling victim to such fraudulent schemes.
The collaboration between SpaceX and BitOK serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts to combat cryptocurrency-related fraud and protect unsuspecting individuals from financial exploitation.