Fake Elon Musk profiles are scamming TikTok crypto enthusiasts; here’s how to avoid them

Temitope Akintade
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The internet is rife with crypto scams and fraudulent activities but recent developments have shown that some elements have taken it to another level entirely. According to reports this new week, scammers are now impersonating billionaire and X (Twitter) CEO Elon Musk, on social media TikTok, to lure unsuspecting victims into scams.

Platforms like Telegram, X (Twitter), Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and a few others were notorious for these bad acts but it now seems the virus has spread to TikTok. And, with the deployment of the technology behind Artificial Intelligence (AI), the scammers have gone beyond using text messages and X (Twitter) posts to swindle people, they now create deep fake videos of prominent personalities like Elon Musk to perpetrate fraudulent attacks.

How the TikTok Elon Musk impersonation works 

The modus operandi of this new form of fraud is quite fascinating. With the use of AI, the fraudsters create videos where Elon Musk is being interviewed by prominent media outlets while promoting a scammy crypto project. 

Related post: Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin X (Twitter) account hacked followers lose $690k

The clumsy videos direct the unsuspicious victims to log into websites like “bitoxies.com”, “moonexio.com”, “altgetxio.com”, and “cratopex.com” telling them to enter a promo code to receive free BTC. 

Firstly, they ask victims to register an account with the website and enter the promo code shown in the TikTok video. The website will then display a message stating that it is preparing to deposit btc into the user’s crypto wallet immediately after the code is accepted.

The websites go as far as displaying ‘Bitcoin’ worth as high as $10,000 on these fake accounts. But whenever a user attempts to withdraw the seemingly free money, they would be required to activate their account by depositing 0.005 BTC (around $130).

Your guess is as good as mine. Immediately after the victim deposit this digital asset, they disappear with the fund and won’t release any cryptocurrency. 

It is however disturbing that these unscrupulous individuals go as far as demanding Know Your Customer (KYC) information from their victims which is really dangerous for privacy reasons.

Crypto Scammers are now increasingly prevalent on social media platforms with them trying to steal users’ funds through fake giveaways. A week ago, crypto users lost over $700,000 after the X (Twitter) account of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was hacked

How to not fall victim to the Elon Musk scam on TikTok 

While TikTok can be an entertaining platform, it is important to stay vigilant and cautious when it comes to cryptocurrency promotions. Before trusting any cryptocurrency promotion video, check the authenticity of the account sharing it. Ensure that the account belongs to the real person or entity it claims to be. Legitimate celebrities and companies often have verified accounts with a blue checkmark.

Elon Musk to sell off Twitter-related memorabilia for $25 in an online auction next month
Elon Musk

Also, beware of videos promising you large amounts of free cryptocurrency just for signing up. Legitimate investments don’t guarantee such extravagant returns without risks. Scammers often ask users to complete Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures on fake websites. With this, never share your personal information, such as passport details, with unverified sources.

Read also: 3 helpful tips to avoid hacks from Lazarus Group and other crypto thieves

Importantly, before investing in any cryptocurrency, conduct thorough research. Look for information about the project, its team, and its track record. Be cautious of projects with limited information or anonymous developers.

Additionally, always ignore requests for upfront fees. Legitimate platforms do not ask users to deposit fees or make payments before withdrawing funds. If a website requests an upfront fee, consider it a red flag and avoid it.

Lastly, if you come across a suspicious video or account on TikTok, report it to the platform immediately. Reporting helps protect other users from falling victim to the scam.

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