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Beware of ‘Elon Musk’ cryptocurrency scam doing the rounds on Facebook

IN SHORT: Billionaire Elon Musk is not running a Bitcoin promotion on Facebook. In fact, he doesn’t even have a Facebook account. This account promising users 5,000 Bitcoin is out to scam them.

The Facebook page Elon Musk Official Pager is calling on users to take part in its “biggest” Bitcoin giveaway.

One post, dated 24 July 2023, reads: “I'm giving 5,000 Bitcoin (BTC) to all Community! left the post of director of Tesla, thank you all for your suppoot! I decided to make the biggest crypto- giveaway in the world, for all my readers who use Bitcoin.”

One of the two images accompanying the text gives more details about how the promotion works.

“To participate you just need to send from 0.025 BTC to 1 BTC to the contribution address and we will immediately send you back from 0.05 BTC to 2 BTC (x2) to the address you sent it from,” it says.

Bitcoin, also known as BTC, is a digital currency built on blockchain technology. It has no centralised regulators or government interventions.

Elon Musk is the founder of electric vehicles manufacturer, Tesla, and owner of social media platform Twitter, rebranded to X in July. He is also the world’s richest person. 

We found similar posts here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is there such a giveaway by Musk and is the Facebook page to be trusted? 

MuskProfile_Scam

Fake Facebook page

There are several signs that point to Elon Musk Official Pager being a fake Facebook page. One of them is that it has no followers. Musk has a huge following on social media, with over 153 million followers on Twitter alone. 

In a reply to a tweet in 2018, Musk said he didn’t have a Facebook account. This also explains why the suspicious page is not verified by Meta.

Another reg flag is the promise of a huge payout. The page claims users will get double of what they put in. The goal could be to lure users into making large deposits but never paying them the promised returns. 

If Musk was running any kind of promotion like this one, it would have made international headlines. But there are no reports from credible news agencies of him giving away 5,000 Bitcoin (US$147,350,000 at the time of writing).

Victims of Bitcoin giveaway scam

The “Elon Musk Bitcoin giveaway” is a scam that has affected thousands of people across the world. 

In 2021, the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) reported how Julie Bushnell, a teacher, was conned into depositing £9,000 (approximately $11,500) with the hope of receiving double that amount back. 

Africa Check found a website where more information about the supposed giveaway is shared. The site also promises to double users’ money.

According to a Coin Market Cap report, the “Elon Musk” crypto giveaway scam made at least $587,000 from unsuspecting people in 2022. Coin Market Cap is a price tracking website for cryptocurrencies.

To help protect yourself against online scams, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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