- A man in Germany described losing bitcoins worth half a million dollars in a scam.
- He told the BBC that he fell for a Twitter account posing as Elon Musk offering to double his money.
- It is an extreme version of so-called giveaway scams, which are popular with cryptocurrency.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A man in Germany says he lost bitcoins worth $560,000 by falling for a scammer posing as Elon Musk, the BBC reported.
The man from Cologne — whom the BBC gave a pseudonym — described giving away his fortune in the mistaken belief that Musk would double his money.
The BBC said his loss was the largest single amount recorded by a Dutch group that tracks so-called giveaway scams.
Musk caused a stir on February 21 by tweeting, “Dojo 4 Doge,” a reference to the cryptocurrency dogecoin. He often tweets his enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies — moving markets in the process.
Scammers try to profit from this enthusiasm by filling the replies to Musk’s genuine tweets with posts from accounts designed to mimic his.
The man who spoke with the BBC said he clicked on one.
The link led to a professional-looking page, the BBC reported, that described an offer in which people could send Musk bitcoins and receive twice as much in return.
The website offered to double quantities between 0.1 and 20 bitcoins — which at Tuesday’s price would be worth $5,600 to $1.1 million.
But the page’s authors had nothing to do with Musk.
The BBC did not specify which website ran the scam, but an example can be seen here on a now-deleted page on Medium — a blogging site that allows anyone to publish professional-looking pages: