- Always be skeptical
- Do your research
- Don't trust strangers on the internet
- Watch out for blind spots created by greed and ego
My partner and I were sitting down for dinner. We often put something on YouTube while we eat. I opened up the home page to YouTube and saw, at the top of my feed, a special life stream from SpaceX. It was a Q&A featuring Elon Musk. But this one was special! If you sent Bitcoin to an address on the stream, Elon would send you Bitcoin in return!
Looking back, it"s ridiculous that I fell for this scam. I almost ignored it. In fact, I put on a video for us to watch and started eating my food. There was a sense of urgency on this stream though. Elon was only giving away so much Bitcoin. My mind went to work and I started thinking about the potential earnings I was missing out on.
I paused the video we were watching. I told my partner I was going to send some Bitcoin. Screw it! Maybe I'll lose it all but that's fine because I could get so much more back. I know what you're thinking. What an idiot.
That's how I feel typing this right now. The truth is, I got greedy. I was blinded by my desire for more. It wouldn't have been very hard for me to look at the YouTube channel that was streaming the video. Sure, the name was SpaceX. Yes there were forty thousand people watching along with me. But the YouTube account was actually owned by a popular ukulele player.
A quick Google would have made the scam obvious. Heck, stopping to think about it would've solved the problem too. But I didn't do either of those things. I was acting completely irrationally. My emotional brain got the best of me.
In the end I sent ~$500 CAD to the scammer. There was actually a minimum amount that you were supposed to send and it was double what I sent. Thankfully I only risked half the minimum.
I'm usually very critical of the internet. I've talked to my partner many times explaining how email scammers convince people to give out their usernames and passwords. The problem is, I wasn't thinking logically. I didn't even realize that the SpaceX stream was old and I had seen it before. I didn't care, I wanted more Bitcoin.
This failure is pretty embarrassing for me.
I forgive you for sending "Elon Musk" $500 CAD of Bitcoin.