Elon Musk’s updates people about news from SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company and other companies regularly on Twitter. Recently, some clever scammers faked his identity and pulled off a very effective yet simple scam. They have seemed to made a lot of sucess.
Here’s how they did it. This is Elon Musk tweeting about the recent Falcon launch which carried 2 SpaceX Test Satellties, for Global Broadband.
Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2018
Looks good, right? Here’s when the scammers come in. The scammer group made a fake Twitter account with the handle ‘elonlmusk’ (notice the extra ‘l’). They posted a reply to his tweet saying they promise to give people free Bitcoins, Ether, Ripple or some other cryptocurrency. Apparently, people need to deposit a certain amount first and then they’ll give a much higher amount of the same cryptocurrency in a while.
Here’s what they replied –
To celebrate this, I’m giving away 5,000 ETH to my followers!
To participate, just send 0.5-1 ETH to the address below and get 5-10 ETH back to the same address you used for the transaction.
ETH Address: https://t.co/V6eT67znml
If you are late, your ETH will be sent back.
—Elon Musk (@elonlmusk) February 21, 2018
If you click the page, it takes you to a website which shows Ethereum being apparently sent out and recieved. Of course, it’s completely fake. The website has also been taken down already, so don’t bother.
To make the scam look legit, the people behind this scam have set up fake Twitter accounts replying to the same comment claiming that they have succesfully gotten 10 times the Ethereum they sent to the address. Here are two for instance.
Thank you so much Elon! Just sent 0.4 ETH and got 4 ETH within 6 minutes! You’re a great person! Keep it up!
— Gary Peters (@GaryPet70008539) February 21, 2018
Thank you! I sent 0.7 ETH and got 7 ETH as well. That’s so awesome Elon pic.twitter.com/Du9yOagFlI
— Matt Martin (@MattMar46412834) February 21, 2018
Both of these Twitter Accounts were created in January 2018, and have only posted a single tweet.
If you do put the Ethereum Address used for the scam in EtherScan (An Ethereum Block Explorer), you’ll see that it has many ‘IN’ Ethereum transactions (Ethereum being sent to the address) and no ‘OUT’ Ethereum transactions (Ethereum being sent from the address).
Here’s the Scammer’s Ethereum Address – 0x6C441eC1c3464eEb459894325ecDdfd0CA51e6E9
And here’s a snapshot from EtherScan.io for the address.
Right now, as of 2:10 AM IST, the Ethereum Wallet holds $7000 or 8.6 ETH. Mashable reports that it had around 20 ETH, or $16,424 when they posted their writing.
At the time of this writing there are almost 20 ETH in that account for a value of around $16,424.
People are still falling for this scam – don’t be one of them. Share this post to increase awareness of this scam, it could be repeated with any other famous celebrity in the field of Technology.