TikTok is flooded with fake cryptocurrency giveaways, with almost all of the videos pretending to be themes based on Elon Musk, Tesla, 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.
The scammers typically post videos on TikTok that show a deepfake 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.
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. 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.
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.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from cryptocurrency giveaway scams:
- Never send cryptocurrency to anyone who promises to send you more cryptocurrency in return. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and legitimate cryptocurrency companies will never ask you to send them money in order to invest in their products or services.
- Be wary of any crypto giveaway that requires you to register for an account or provide personal information. Legitimate crypto giveaways will never ask for your name, address, phone number, or other personal information.
- Do your research on any crypto exchange or investment platform before sending them any money. Read online reviews and check to see if the company is registered with a financial regulator.
- Use a secure cryptocurrency wallet. A secure wallet will help to protect your cryptocurrency from theft and hacking.
If you think you may have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency giveaway scam, you should report it to the authorities and to the social media platform where you saw the scam. You may also want to contact a cryptocurrency recovery service to see if they can help you to get your money back.