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Elon Musk Bitcoin vanity addresses used to scam users out of $2 million

June 20, 2020 / Catalin Cimpanu

Bitcoin giveaway scams have been around for more than two years, but a new twist in tactics has helped scammers make more than $2 million over the past two months from Elon Musk's name. The new trick involves the use of Bitcoin vanity addresses in order to give the scam more credibility in the eyes of a suspicious user. Over the past month, Justin Lister, CEO of cyber-security firm Adaptiv, has been tracking the use of Bitcoin vanity addresses abusing Elon Musk's name in giveaway scams. Lister has been collecting the addresses with the help of BitcoinAbuse, a website where users can report Bitcoin addresses abused in ransomware, extortions, cybercrime, and online scams. In a spreadsheet shared with ZDNet earlier this week, the Adaptiv CEO said he tracked down 66 addresses that have been reported by scammed users on BitcoinAbuse.