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Scammers posing as Elon Musk are stealing from young investors, FTC says

CNBC — Scammers pretending to be Elon Musk have stolen at least $2 million from cryptocurrency investors over the past six months, the Federal Trade Commission said.

Con artists are stealing from people in so-called “giveaway scams” where people pose as celebrities or known figures in the crypto-world. They promise to “multiply” the cryptocurrency that investors send — but pocket the crypto instead, CNBC reported.

These crypto-scams have surged since October, hitting their highest level on record in the first quarter of 2021, according to FTC data.

The timing line up with a run-up in the price of bitcoin and other popular digital currencies. Bitcoin was trading at more than $59,000 on March 31 — a return of 450% relative to its $10,710 close on Sept. 30.

Nearly 7,000 people reported faux crypto investments form October through March and lost more than $80 million total, according to the FTC.

That’s about 12 times the number of reports and almost 1,000% more in reported losses than the same period a year earlier, the agency said. The actual figures may be much higher since the data only reflects scams reported by consumers.

The typical person reported a loss of $1,900. Young investors (those ages 20 to 49) were over five times more likely to report losing money on cryptocurrency investment scams, according to the FTC.

The post Scammers posing as Elon Musk are stealing from young investors, FTC says appeared first on NBC2 News.

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