TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, is currently being inundated a surge of fake cryptocurrency giveaways. These scams predominantly center around themes related to Elon Musk, Tesla, or SpaceX. While similar scams have been prevalent on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter for years, TikTok is now facing an influx of these fraudulent activities.
The scammers create numerous websites that mimic crypto exchanges or giveaway sites, luring users to register an account to receive free cryptocurrency. However, these scams ultimately steal any deposited crypto and leave users without any returns.
Although one might assume that most people would be able to identify these scams, they have proved remarkably successful in the past. Social media users have fallen victim to these scams, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency.
The fake cryptocurrency giveaways on TikTok often involve deep fake videos of Elon Musk being interviewed on prominent news networks, endorsing a fake giveaway event. Some videos are more simple, providing instructions on logging into a website and entering a promo code to claim free Bitcoin.
BleepingComputer conducted tests on one of these giveaways and discovered that most of them use the same template, replicating a crypto investment platform. The scam videos frequently promote websites with slightly altered domain names, such as bitoxies[.]com, moonexio[.]com, altgetxio[.]com, and cratopex[.]com.
To participate in the giveaway, users are prompted to register an account and enter a promo code found in the TikTok video. The website then simulates depositing Bitcoin into the user’s wallet. However, when users attempt to withdraw the claimed Bitcoins, they are required to activate their account depositing a small amount of Bitcoin. This so-called “activation” deposit is simply a means for scammers to collect funds.
Additionally, users are prompted to enter KYC (Know Your Customer) information, which the scammers can exploit in an attempt to breach victims’ legitimate cryptocurrency accounts. These scams have become highly profitable for threat actors, resulting in warnings from authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
To protect yourself from falling victim to these scams, it is crucial to be aware that most crypto giveaway sites are fraudulent. Particularly those claiming affiliation with Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, Ark Invest, Gemini, and other high-profile figures or exchanges that promise substantial returns. Whether it be through emails, videos, tweets, or other forms of social media, always be vigilant and avoid sending any cryptocurrency, as it will only be stolen without any return.
Sources: BleepingComputer, FTC, Better Business Bureau