The Scam Who Fooled Me

The Scam Who Fooled Me

So I am still coming to terms with what I have done today. Here I was discussing something funny. Then noticed something and became focussed only on that. So much so that I fell for multiple fallacies, and even convinced myself that one fallacy reinforced the others. A scam, yes, I fell for a scam. Designed to use multiple tricks on the mind, which all worked on me. And I fell, hard, I was only saved somewhat by a limitation of a third party vendor.

How I was suckered into the scam

Let us start at the beginning shall we. Elon Musk is known for his fun and having lots of money. With the current movement with Youtubers for Team Trees to raise money to plant 20,000,000 trees. Elon joined in and donated 1,000,000, changed his Twitter name to Treelon and updated his profile picture to trees. In amongst the conversation I saw a tweet from Treelon saying that he was also running a giveaway with some cryptocurrency. Now I have seen this before but didn’t know how to participate and just watched it count to zero.

Tweet from same account, but they are at it again with a new website.

Not this time! I wasn’t going to miss it again. So I went on my adventure on setting up a cryptocurrency wallet, a marketplace I can purchase some with to enter this giveaway. Now this is where things could have been much worse. The amount of information you have to give to these companies that manage your wallets and marketplaces. Wow. But at least I researched which ones are the recommended and well known ones. Because they get your mobile number, email address, a copy of your licence and payment details. Enough to steal your identity. So you see thankfully this was not part of the scam and my details should mostly be “safe” with these companies.

A well designed image for a well designed scam.

Fallacies

To side-track the story for a moment. We should look closer at what fallacies are at play.

  • Affirming the consequent: Elon just donated a lot of money so he would be willing to donate more
  • Affirming the consequent: I have seen this before and believed it to be true, so this must also be true
  • Divine fallacy: It’s Elon and Tesla so why would they make this up?
  • Divine fallacy: It says that even if you don’t win the giveaway they will return your money
  • Fallacy of composition: They were showing transactions that had succeeded and the return they received, therefore it will work for me too
  • False attribution: Using Elon Musk as the source
  • False authority: Using Elon but also they had a comment section where a “Mod” and also an “Avid Cryptocurrency follower” both confirmed this was legitimate
  • False dilemma: Setting up that I either miss out or get in quick, however there was another option which was this was a scam

And definitely more…

The Scam Fine Print

Now the terms of the giveaway was that you send a small amount of cryptocurrency to a wallet. And they will send ten times as much back. Simple as that right? Backing this up was the fact that it stated if you missed out, they’ll just send the same amount back.

Couldn’t be easier.

When you add everything together, being distracted, knowing I missed out last time and I need to act fast. Seeing all the other people easily getting rich and getting their money back ten fold. Reliability of the source and people confirming it is legitimate. Really at the end of all of it, it was my wish for it to be that easy. Zero risk, one hundred percent reward.

Look at everyone else getting money.

Zero reward, one hundred percent stupid.

There were so many warning signs and so many things I could have checked. I am a nerd after all. Could have inspected the pages code to find the transactions showing up were all faked. Confirmed who owned the webpage. Even simpler is the twitter account, no blue tick and incorrect username, tweet history, everything. I’m just lucky that the cryptocurrency services I chose to use were legitimate and respectable. What I am even more thankful for is the fact that for a new account they limited my transfer limit to two hundred and fifty dollars. It was so tempting to throw much more at it considering how much it would mean I would be getting back. But more research was definitely required so I didn’t have to rely on such limitations.

I mean Stockholm, really?

So these are all things that I know I need to do next time. Break through the excitement and fallacies. Open my eyes to what is really in front of me and really look at what the opportunity is. Not just send some random two hundred and fifty dollars. Which being cryptocurrency is intentionally anonymous and impossible to get back. And go back to working hard for my money, not the blindly obvious get rich scam.

Oh and also, I’m probably going to keep an eye out for the next few days and try to be a pain for these scammers. Report accounts, websites and anything else I can think of. Meanwhile, I now have a cryptocurrency wallet, so maybe I should dable a little bit. Always be interested in getting into the stock market but didn’t know who to invest it, this is at least a little easier to watch the trends.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *