Heartless crypto fraudsters use Elon Musk’s SNL appearance to scam people out £7million

Cunning fraudsters posed as celebrities by hacking into verified social media accounts and urging crypto users to sign up for quick cash. The scam carried out on the weekend beginning May 7, came as the Tesla CEO made his SNL debut on May 8, hosting the show and appearing in a variety of sketches. A financial expert has claimed millions were harvested by those behind the website snlmusk.com, according to Business Insider.

The platform has since been closed down.

Scammers posing as household names promised quick cash to people if they sent over a small fraction of the amount to a crypto address.

Sarang Naram, a research engineer at cyber-exposure firm Tenable, said almost $150,000 (£105,859) of Ethereum, Bitcoin and Dogecoin was grabbed.

Fraudsters also used Twitter and YouTube to lure in victims and leave them out of pocket.

Mr Narang said: "I just think this was a perfect storm, because you also had Elon Musk tweeting, 'Hey, for international viewers that can't watch SNL, they're going to be streaming it on YouTube.'"

He estimate that nine tenths of the overall amount scammers got was obtained through YouTube schemes

Miley Cyrus, Brazilian politician Luiz Fernando Pezão and hockey player Troy Stecher are among the celebrities who were impersonated.

Other account were set up posing as SNL, Tesla and Mr Musk himself.

READ MORE: Bitcoin price crash: Cryptocurrency plummets in wake of Chinese threat

The fake accounts were used to urge people to click on links to websites offering easy money.

In order to sign up for tempting prizes, users had to send a slice of the promised amount to a crypto address provided.

Those who bought into the lies were told the money was for verification and would be refunded.

Mr Stecher, who plays for the Detroit Red Wings, posted a message for his followers to know that Twitter had restored his page to him.

He tweeted: "I’m back! I have my account restored.

"I apologise to all for any content posted without my consent while my account was hacked. Thank you for your understanding."

Ms Musk's first appearance on SNL failed to garner rave reviews.

Writing in the Guardia shortly after the show aired, Zach Vasquez there were no high hopes for the business magnate prior to his appearance.

He said: "It’s not unfair to suggest that the question going into tonight wasn’t whether or not Musk would do a good job, but rather how badly it would all turn out."

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