07/30/2021 1:21 PM
Updated 07/30/2021 1:21 PM
Imposters posing as the well-known billionaire Elon Musk are raising
millions of dollars through online scams
in which they deceive users with tempting cryptocurrency operations that
Musk recently became the figure whose identity is most impersonated on social networks to cajole the unwary and steal thousands of dollars from them with propositions
"too good to be true,"
according to the cybersecurity expert Satnam Narang, who told EFE. who works as a researcher for the Tenable firm.
The method is almost always the same: the scammer poses as a public figure linked to the world of cryptocurrencies such as
Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin
and advertises on social networks a supposedly philanthropic operation for which he will double the value of anyone who
sends money to a specific address.
Mode is very similar to what happened last year when cybercriminals managed to
hack into accounts personalities recognized as Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates.
The tweet that was used last year to scam through cryptocurrencies.
Victims believe they recognize the issuer for its popularity, and trust the legitimacy of the scheme because it is common for
billionaires like Elon Musk to act eccentrically
, and even carry out similar operations with the aim of achieving publicity or raising funds for something concrete cause.
However, once the user sends the money, they not only do not duplicate it, but lose it, and given the international and decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, as well as the lack of regulation in this area, it is impossible for them to claim and
recover the investment.
Juicy but dangerous opportunity
Crypto scams grew in 2021. Photo EFE
"With the high value that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have reached in recent months,
many people feel that they have lost the opportunity to make a lucrative investment
. This feeling is what scammers take advantage of to lure them into this sector and deceive them," Narang says.
In the most recent hoax he investigated, cyber fraudsters created a fake digital currency called
(the name of the aerospace company founded by Musk), which they advertise through paid ads on popular portals such as YouTube, and falsely claim that
Musk is your promoter.
According to their estimates (all operations with cryptocurrencies are transparent), the scammers would have obtained around a million dollars from unsuspecting Internet users through this network.
That so many
have been targeting Musk in recent times for their scams is no coincidence: Tesla's CEO became the most popular figure in the world of cryptocurrencies, and every time he talks about them their value plummets or it triggers as its words are interpreted.
Ten million in fraud
Millionaire figures for scammers.
In early May, coinciding with Musk's much-anticipated and much-talked-about participation in the US television program Saturday Night Live, the scams linked to this figure reached a fever pitch, and Tenable estimates that in total the
fraudsters pocketed up to ten million dollars
, promoting their messages on platforms such as Twitter and YouTube.
With a career of more than fifteen years in this sector, Narang has a fundamental advice to avoid being a victim of this type of scam: "
If the operation generates doubts
, if you are not sure that it is legitimate, do not send money. It is better to leave spend an opportunity to earn money than lose the one you already have. "
He also insists on always going to the original source, that is,
official and registered
Twitter account, for example, or SpaceX's YouTube channel.
Because as he warns, "
anyone can create new websites
, social media accounts and even cryptocurrencies and pretend to be someone they are not."
With information from EFE
With information from EFE
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