A bitcoin hoax that claimed Elon Musk would “double her investment” tricked a teacher out of her cash.
Julie Bushnell invested £9,000 in a hoax operation stating a bitcoin “giveaway” was offered by a wealthy entrepreneur.
The con was spread via a website designed to appear like BBC News, which featured an item saying that Mr. Musk’s business, Tesla, had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and intended to contribute half of it to charity.
Ms. Bushnell, a Hampshire-based cryptocurrency investor, had been saving money for a home but decided to deposit it through a website instead because she was promised a double refund.
She realized she had been duped when it became evident the reciprocal payment would never occur.
She said: “I remained up all night looking for ways to get this money back on the internet.”
I tried to go to sleep, but I could not do so because of my ongoing panic episodes and incessant sobbing.
Despite reporting the transaction to her bank, according to Ms. Bushnell, the bank was unable to assist. However, she claimed to have been in touch with Action Fraud and Sussex Police, who informed the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau about the occurrence.
The incident has left her inconsolable: “They have taken my strength, self-worth, dignity, and respect away from me. They have drained me of all my excellent qualities.”
She stated, “I want to spread awareness of this fraud to prevent it from happening to other vulnerable people.
The phony website is still up and running, but the BBC claimed to be taking steps to have it taken down. However, the station advised viewers not to provide any personal information and to “verify the validity” of websites.
In recent years, cryptocurrency frauds have multiplied in tandem with the explosive growth of blockchain transactions.
According to research by cryptocurrency transaction monitor, so-called giveaway gangs are expected to quadruple the amount of victims they claimed in 2021 compared to the previous year.
According to these analysts, the gangs made more than $18 million (£12.7 million) worldwide and had claimed more than 5,600 victims by the end of March, compared to 10,500 for the entire year 2020. The amount was about five times higher in 2018 than in 2019.
Of all the digital currencies, Bitcoin continues to command the most attention. Still, this week it saw a value drop of about £15,000 per coin after Elon Musk said that his firm would no longer accept cryptocurrency payments because of their significant environmental impact.