Victim of 'Elon Musk' Bitcoin scam loses home deposit
She lost £9,000 in the scam.
A woman who fell victim to online scammers has said that she feels ashamed and embarrassed after she was conned into giving away her savings.
Julie Bushnell fell for a Bitcoin fraud that used the name of entrepreneur Elon Musk and a story on a fake BBC website suggesting that she could double her money in a giveaway of the cryptocurrency.
Bushnell, who is a teacher from Brighton told the BBC: "I think about it everyday."
The teacher was already an investor in cryptocurrency, and spotted an item on a website that seemed to use BBC News branding. The article claimed that billionaire boss of Tesla and crypto investor Elon Musk would pay back double the sum of any Bitcoin deposit made.
She paid £9,000, which was money she had saved for a deposit on a house. It was only when no payment arrived in return that Ms Bushnell realised she had been the victim of a scam.
She said: "It has affected me massively. I wish I could have that time back - go in a time machine and not make those couple of clicks."
The teacher has reported the crime to Sussex Police and Action Fraud, and added: "They have robbed me of my dignity, self-respect, self-worth and strength. They have sucked all the goodness of life out of me.
"I want to raise awareness of this scam so it doesn't happen to other vulnerable people."
The fake site is still currently online according to the BBC.
Research by crypto-community Whale Alert suggests that so-called 'giveaway gangs' made more than $18 million worldwide in the first quarter of 2021, with more than 5,600 people falling victim to the scams. This is compared to only 10,500 in the whole of 2020.
The BBC has said that it is taking action to have the site closed down, saying: "We urge people to check the veracity of [websites] and not to supply any personal information."