Bitcoin vanity addresses centered on tech celebrities such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates are rather prominent at the time of writing, with those centered on Musk having collected more than $2 million in stolen funds and those regarding Gates having collected roughly $100,000 in stolen money.
Crypto Scams Don’t End for Elon Musk
A bitcoin vanity address is a crypto address that incorporates an actual word or name. As we all know, cryptocurrency addresses tend to be rather long and complicated. They are composed of a wide array of symbols, letters, and numbers that if copied incorrectly, can result in funds being sent to either the wrong address or lost in space and time. It’s an unfortunate situation given that there is no way to reverse a crypto transaction. Money being returned depends on the good nature of the receiver, which sadly doesn’t always exist.
The bitcoin vanity addresses involving Elon Musk, for example, had the word “Elon” or the phrase “Elon Musk” thrown in amongst the many numbers and symbols the addresses contained. This presents one of two potential scenarios. The first is that many people are not really studying the addresses they’re sending money to. They see the address, copy it without thought and send the money as if they were on autopilot. That explains why so much crypto has been lost since its inception.
The second scenario suggests that people saw the word “Elon” in the address and didn’t think much of it. If this second situation is the one that’s real, then people still are not privy to the kinds of scams that are occurring throughout the crypto space. Never is a crypto address designed to mimic a certain phrase or sentence, and if it does, it’s purely by coincidence, but the idea that a crypto address would actually spell out the name Elon should ultimately hint to the user that something foul is afoot.
Musk has been a constant target of crypto scams. Several times, hackers have used his image or likeness on Twitter to create fake accounts and promote phony cryptocurrency giveaways and contests that wind up garnering hundreds of thousands in digital funds under the alleged name of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO.
A Lot of Addresses Out There
More recently, the South African entrepreneur was at the center of a YouTube-based crypto scam, in which hackers were able to remove his YouTube account and put up a fraudulent one that promoted fake SpaceX launch footage. In addition, the channel featured news of a crypto contest in which users could potentially send a small amount of crypto to a single address for a chance at having their money doubled.
At press time, as many as 67 separate bitcoin vanity addresses involving Elon Musk have been discovered, while those involving Bill Gates are less prominent.