A recent cryptocurrency scam tied to Elon Musk's name, known as the "Elon Musk Mutual Aid Fund" or "Elon Musk Club," has gained traction through a series of spam emails in the recent weeks. This isn't the first time such scams have emerged and reaped significant financial gains. In the past, crypto fraudsters have managed to pull in vast sums, with some incidents like the 2018 scam drawing $180K in just one day and the 2021 Twitter scam that netted $580K within a week. Shockingly, as recent as last week, a person transferred three bitcoins, equivalent to $150,074 then, to a well-known scam.
Traditionally, these scams have been prominent on social media platforms, but now they are infiltrating our inboxes. These phishing emails might seem simplistic and often have vague subject lines and content. Still, they lure victims with tempting HTML attachments such as "Get Free Bitcoin – [id].htm" or "Elon Musk Club – [id].htm." Clicking these links will reroute the user to a fake "Elon Musk – Mutual aid fund" site, which offers between 0.001 to 0.055 bitcoins for participation. The end game is to redirect users to another website where they are tricked into "donating" bitcoin, only for it to end up in the scammers' pockets.
Although researchers have identified only two bitcoin addresses linked to this scam so far, and these have accumulated around $3,661, it's believed that many more addresses exist. The scam's continued success was evident when, during the drafting of this article, the said bitcoin address logged three additional "donations."
Given their lucrative nature, it's unlikely that these types of scams will disappear in the near future. They might even diversify across various communication platforms. It's crucial to remember that nearly every crypto giveaway site is fraudulent, especially those impersonating notable figures or companies like Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, or Gemini. If you encounter promotional emails, social media posts, or any such giveaway offers, it's best to operate on the assumption that any sent cryptocurrency will be a loss.