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Elon Musk Isn’t Doing Bitcoin Giveaways, Warns Woman Who Lost House Savings

Nothing in life is free, not in the strictest sense of the word. That’s not stopping scammers from employing double-your-money schemes on a wide scale, targeting increasing numbers of victims.
Fake BBC News that announces a Bitcoin giveaway held by Tesla CEO Elon Musk 1 photo
The idea of sending your own money over and get double in return is irresistible to many. After all, who wouldn’t want “free” money? And why not take it if someone as rich and seemingly generous as Tesla CEO Elon Musk is offering it?

One teacher from Brighton, England, ditched common sense and fell for one of these scams, and lost the money she’d saved for a house deposit in the process. Now, Julie Bushnell is speaking out in a bid to prevent other from falling for the scam.

Elon Musk has been targeted by crypto scammers before, including on his own Twitter. This time, while the scam used him as the lure, a fake BBC News page was used. Bushnell tells The Argus that she saw the “news” announcing the Bitcoin giveaway, shortly after Tesla bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, and proceeded to list her interest in it.

The idea for the “giveaway” was, of course, that you could send over your own money and the organizers would double it. Bushnell had £9,007 ($12,700) in savings, which she had invested in Bitcoin, so she sent it over. When the payment wasn’t reciprocated, she understood she’d fallen for a scam.

Since the transaction was in Bitcoin, she has no chance of recovering her money. She contacted her bank and the Sussex Police and Action Fraud but, like all other crypto scam victims, she has lost hope of ever getting her cash back. Like all the other victims, she’s speaking out to ring the alarm.

“They have robbed me of my dignity, self-respect, self-worth and strength. They have sucked all the goodness of life out of me,” Bushnell tells the publication. “I want to raise awareness of this scam so it doesn't happen to other vulnerable people.”

Bushnell isn’t alone in falling for crypto scams, and her loss is far from the biggest. In March this year, a man from Amsterdam lost $564,000 to scammers, in what is considered the biggest fraudulent Bitcoin transaction. The number of scams is on the rise, too, as interest in cryptocurrency is picking up: crypto-community Whale Alert tells the BBC that more than 5,600 victims fell for such scams in the first three months of 2021, compared with 10,500 throughout the entire 2020.


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