A dad has told of his devastation after losing £407,000 in a fake Elon Musk Bitcoin Twitter scam.
The IT expert recalled waking his wife to tell her he'd made a "really big mistake" after being convinced the eccentric billionaire would double any money he sent to a fake website.
The 42-year-old dad-of-two, who wished to remain anonymous, told the BBC : "I realised then that it was a big fake.
"I threw my head on to the sofa cushions and my heart was beating so hard. I thought I'd just thrown away the gamechanger for my family, my early retirement fund and all the upcoming holidays with my kids.
"I went upstairs and sat on the edge of the bed to tell my wife. I woke her up and told her that I'd made a big mistake, a really big mistake."
It began when he received got a Twitter alert on his phone with news supposedly from Elon Musk last month.
The dad said: "Musk tweeted, 'Dojo 4 Doge?' and I wondered what it meant.
"There was a link to a new event below, so I clicked on it and saw that he was giving away Bitcoin!"
He entered a website inviting people to send between 0.1 Bitcoin (£4,300) to 20 Bitcoin and get double their money back, which was apparently being run by Musk's Tesla team.
The dad, who had seen his $40,000 Bitcoin 2017 investment grow to nearly 500,000 euros, said there was a timer counting down and convinced himself it was genuine after double-checking the verification logo next to Musk's name.
He said: "Take the maximum', I thought, this is definitely real, so I sent 10 Bitcoin."
The dad, from Cologne in Germany, saw Mr Musk send a fresh cryptic tweet and felt reassured that the giveaway was real.
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But he was left horrified when there was no payout and didn't sleep that night as he tried desperately tweeting the fake Elon Musk Twitter account to get his money back, eventually accepting he had lost it forever.
He opened to the BBC saying he was "normally not the biggest idiot in the whole world", admitting: "I was greedy that night and it made me blind."
Amsterdam-based analysts at Whale Alert, which tracks the movement of cryptocurrencies in real-time, had watched his 10 Bitcoin being transferred and then cashed out anonymously a few days later.
They said his 10 Bitcoin was the most they'd ever recorded being lost in one transaction warning scammers are making record-breaking sums in 2021.
Whale Alert founder Frank van Weert said Bitcoin's volatile nature could make it seen as a quick way of making money, but added: "It also does sound quite plausible that someone like Elon Musk, a big supporter of cryptocurrency, would give away Bitcoin."
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