TikTok is flooded by a surge of fake cryptocurrency giveaways posted to the video-sharing platform, with almost all of the videos pretending to be themes based on Elon Musk, Tesla, or SpaceX.
Threat actors have created fake cryptocurrency giveaways on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter for years. These scams pretend to be giveaways from celebrities, cryptocurrency exchanges, and, more commonly, impersonating Elon Musk or SpaceX.
The scammers set up hundreds of websites that pretend to be crypto exchanges or giveaway sites that prompt users to register an account to receive free cryptocurrency. However, as expected, these scams simply steal any deposited crypto, with the users receiving nothing in return.
While you would think that most people would see through these scams, they have been incredibly successful in the past, with scams stealing millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from unsuspecting social media users.
TikTok invaded by cryptocurrency scams
With TikTok’s immense popularity, scammers are increasingly flooding the platform with fake cryptocurrency giveaways.
These videos are posted hourly and contain a deep fake video of Elon Musk being interviewed on Fox News or other networks, promoting a fake cryptocurrency giveaway.
Some videos are a bit more amateurish, simply showing how to log in to a listed website and enter a promo code to receive free Bitcoin.
BleepingComputer tested one of the giveaways to see how it works and found that almost all utilize the same template, which pretends to be a crypto investment platform.
Most of the videos use website domains that look slightly similar, such as bitoxies[.]com, moonexio[.]com, altgetxio[.]com, cratopex[.]com.
To take part in the giveaway, users are prompted to register an account and enter a promo code shared in the TikTok video. Once they enter the code, the site will pretend to deposit Bitcoin into the user’s wallet.
For example, the scam site below pretended to deposit .34 Bitcoin into my wallet, worth approximately $9,000.
However, when attempting to withdraw the free Bitcoins, you must first activate your account by depositing .005 Bitcoins, worth approximately $132. As you will never receive any bitcoins from the site, the scammers generate their revenue by stealing these “activation” deposits.
To make matters worse, you will also be prompted to enter KYC information, which can collected by the threat actors to attempt to breach your other legitimate cryptocurrency accounts.
As these scams have the potential to generate a large amount of revenue for threat actors, they will not be going away, and social media platforms will continue to be flooded with these fake giveaways.
These scams have gotten so profitable that the FTC released a report warning that $80 million has been lost to cryptocurrency investment scams since October 2020. More recently, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning last week about cryptocurrency scams on TikTok.
Therefore, it is essential to recognize that almost every crypto giveaway site is a scam, especially those claiming to be from Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, Ark Invest, Gemini, and high-profile exchanges and celebrities that promise massive returns.
If you see emails, videos, tweets, or other messages on social media promoting these giveaways, remember that any cryptocurrency you send will just be stolen with nothing in return.