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BTC Giveaway Scams on the Rise: Pretending to Be Backed by Celebrities

The sheer volume of bitcoin giveaway scams has been rising rapidly. This is due to the combination of increasing cryptocurrency prices happening alongside a deepening economic crisis across the world. Mostly, these scams rely on pretending that famous figures are giving away free cryptocurrencies, most popularly Bitcoin.

High profile figures commonly used in such scams are Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Chamath Palihapitiya, the Chairman of Virgin Galactic, as well as Micheal Bloomberg, billionaire, and presidential candidate.

The basic gist of the Bitcoin giveaway scam is falsely claiming that a celebrity is giving away Bitcoin or some other form of cryptocurrency. As unemployment grows and economic crises rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so too did the scams trying to prey on the desperate and unfortunate. A rise in videos started to spread that featured live interviews with Chamath Palihapitiya, claiming that there is a giveaway of 5000 BTC.

Financial Heavyweights Impersonated

These videos have been popping up on Youtube on the regular,  explaining that the basic premise is an initial investment of BTC from the victim’s side. This investment will then “immediately” bring fruit by way of a 1:2 investment ratio. Meaning if you invest 1 BTC, you will gain 2 BTC, in turn.

The video went into detail, explaining that the more BTC you spend, the more you’ll get back in return. Of course, this is all just a fancy scam to convince people to invest money, encouraging you to send your money to them and just never paying you back.

Other key celebrities playing victim to this is Micheal Bloomberg. Bloomberg stands as a US presidential candidate, the billionaire executive of a media company, as well as the former mayor of New York City. The fake giveaway involving Bloomberg operates in a similar format as the previously mentioned scams. It has targeted other key figures within the crypto industry, such as Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase.

Saturating All Media Formats

Another key figure to be targeted and falsely used to endorse these scams, is none other than Elon Musk. A website that mimics Medium, a popular publishing platform, claims to be the official website for the Elon Musk BTC and ETH giveaway (find out how to buy Ethereum). Scammers, in turn, promote this giveaway on various social media platforms, doing so from everything from Twitter all the way to Reddit.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.