Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other crypto assets are making headlines all across mainstream finance for making people rich left and right. But as abundant as success stories are these days, there’s also a growing number of horror stories where people end up with misfortune instead.
Here’s a sad and painful lesson where a teacher learned the hard way not to send cryptocurrencies to strangers, even if that stranger appears to be Elon Musk.
Bitcoin Scams Grow Abundant As Crypto Adoption Spreads
Because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies exist only on the internet, they are an always-on target for cyber criminals. And as they become more valuable, more criminals see the allure in trying to steal some – which is a lot easier than earning it themselves.
Cybercriminals and the tactics they use are becoming more advanced by the day. High-profile hackers just shut down one of the biggest fuel pipelines in the United States, and there’s little the US government was able to do about it.
Related Reading | Bitcoin Searches Spike On Google After Twitter Scam Goes Viral
Granted this didn’t involve Bitcoin, but such ransomware attacks typically do. Other scams involve phishing sites, malware, or worse. Another common scheme, as Brighton teacher Julie Bushnell found out, involves sending an amount of cryptocurrency expecting double the amount in return – except the original sender is left empty handed.
Julie Bushnell now feels “ashamed and embarrassed” after realizing she lost around $13,000 in BTC, which was intended to use as a downpayment for a new home.
“They have robbed me of my dignity, self-respect, self-worth and strength. They have sucked all the goodness of life out of me,” she said.
“I want to raise awareness of this scam so it doesn’t happen to other vulnerable people.”
Sadly, for as long as this scam has been around, the amount of stolen crypto assets and those affected are only increasing as adoption of the emerging asset class spreads.
Related Reading | The Most Common Bitcoin Scams And How To Avoid Them
During 2020, roughly 10,000 users lost funds due to fake Twitter scams. However, during the first three months alone in 2021, there’s already been half of that, and more than $18 million in assets stolen.
Many of them are found on Twitter impersonating other big accounts, like Elon Musk. Musk was also used in this example as well, but instead the scam was found on a fake version of the BBC, which the real version of the BBC says is “still currently online.”
It’s the same old song and dance, though. The scammer asks for a sum of crypto and in return, they’ll double it. If you’re approached with a situation that just seems too good to be true – it most likely is. Learn from this teacher’s troubles and don’t get scammed yourself. For more on the most common scams involving Bitcoin, check out this list on how to avoid them.