The assurance of payment of a substantial sum in return for a small payment is a typical cheat that has been carried out in different forms for several years. An admin fee is needed before a Saudi prince’s inheritance will be paid, and payment is required to assist a widow to get her husband’s wealth out of the country.
This week an exciting variation of the cheat has been carried out on Twitter that has been astonishingly effective. The Saudi prince was substituted by Elon Musk, who the scammers claimed had assured to pay 10,000 BTC to the community. The donation, it was declared, was as a thank you for the help Elon Musk had received since he left the position of director of Tesla in what assured to be the biggest Bitcoin giveaway ever.
Such a strange and generous gift to the community must have set alarm bells ringing, in any case, 10,000 BTC is roughly $64 million – a considerable thank you in anybody’s book.
All that was needed was for partakers to pay a nominal amount (0.1 to 3 BTC) to a particular Bitcoin address. Elon Musk assured to pay back 1-30 times the amount that was paid. To inspire bigger donations, anybody sending 0.3 BTC or more would get an additional 200% in return.
Such a cheat would likely be identified as such, but genuine sources seemed to be encouraging the giveaway through their authorized Twitter accounts, including the Ministry of Transportation of Colombia and the National Disaster Management Authority of India to name but two.
Those accounts were used to confirm that some people had already received big payments in return for a small BTC deal. Sites used to promote the cheat also had sensibly credible names such as musk.fund, musk.plus and spacex.plus.
The truth was the Twitter accounts helping the giveaway had been hacked and the domains were listed by the scammers.
The ElonMusk Bitcoin cheat seemed too good to be correct and it was. Nevertheless, it has been remarkably effective. The Bitcoin address had received 392 payments totaling 28 BTC – About $180,000 – within 24 hours.