Recently, TikTok has been inundated with a flood of cryptocurrency giveaway scam videos spread across the platform. Mostly, these scams are masquerading as topics related to Elon Musk, Tesla, or SpaceX. The potential for quick and easy cryptocurrency makes these a constant and disturbing threat.
TikTok flooded by “Elon Musk cryptocurrency giveaway” scams.
Today, the creativity of scammers trying to take advantage of TikTok’s massive user base is quite obvious. TikTok is facing a severe problem with the proliferation of numerous fraudulent cryptocurrency giveaway scams on the platform. Scammers are going all out for their profits. They create hundreds of websites posing as crypto exchanges or free giveaway sites. According to them, the only thing a user has to do to get free cryptocurrency is to register on their site and enter the promo code from the video.
And, of course, the slight nuance that the video is silent about is to pay a small amount for account activation, which will allow the user to withdraw funds. However, the reality is grim: paying the user out is absent in such a scenario. These scams are elaborate traps that steal users’ funds, leaving them empty-handed. Besides, there’s always the chance of being double-crossed. Although this scheme is quite old, it is still very effective — as the saying goes, old but gold.
The Elon Musk impersonation
Attackers learned long ago that promoting mass fraud on behalf of famous personalities is much more effective. Regarding media personalities, the first person who is associated with cryptocurrency giveaway scams is Elon Musk. Moreover, his bizarre behavior and habit of talking nonsense in public and promoting questionable things adds credibility to any scam that mentions the name of Ilon Musk. So, the scammers publish a fake video in which Fox News or others interview Elon Musk and promote a phony cryptocurrency giveaway.
The strategy means impersonating Elon Musk and his subsidiaries, Tesla and SpaceX. They are designed to make people think they are participating in a genuine promotion. Thus, some videos contain instructions on how to log into the listed website and enter a promo code to get free bitcoins. Many websites have very similar names like Moonexio[.]com, altgetxio[.]com, and cratopex[.]com or, as in our case, bitoxies[.]com.
How cryptocurrency giveaway scams works?
It starts with a TikTok video the user can find using the hashtag #bitcoinforbeginners. We see many identical videos as if they were copied. The only thing that makes them different is the promo code, which differs for each. We open a random video, see a fragment from the interview mentioned above on the cover, and then follow instructions on registering on the site.
We open the site, register, and enter the code – voila! We have bonuses on our account. We try to withdraw them and see an error that says that to operate, and you must complete the account setup and activate it. For that, the service asks to deposit an amount equivalent to 0.005 BTC.
Obviously, after replenishing the account, you still cannot withdraw funds. The essence of this scam is to lure victims out of their funds in this way. In addition, the site asks for KYC information, with the help of which attackers will try to hack into our other legitimate accounts. This in total pushes the risks much beyond money losses.
It is also important to note that the mentioned websites may change their names, but retain the overall message. There is an entire pandemic of such sites going on – with absolutely the same design and promises, but different names.
How to avoid crypto scams?
The first thing this fraudulent scheme is based on is the unawareness of users. The second is greed and the desire to make a profit for nothing. We can help with the first, but the second comes with experience. It is essential to learn that you must pay for everything in life, and no one will give you anything for free. Besides, it would help if you did not get your investing advice from TikTok. Elon Musk’s crypto giveaways are like his promises to improve Twitter: they’re fake. Cryptocurrency is not something you can invest in just out of interest. Before investing, you should study this field well and understand it completely. Otherwise, losses are inevitable. In addition, we recommend that you only use official platforms and apps. The following red flags will help you identify scams:
- The ad promises free cryptocurrency for performing simple actions such as subscribing to an account, watching a video, or commenting on a post.
- The ad contains errors or typos.
- The ad looks informal or unprofessional.
- The ad requires entering your personal or cryptocurrency wallet information.
If you see a post or comment that fits one or more of these traits, it’s best to ignore it.