Scammers are parked in Elon Musk’s Twitter mentions like an abandoned submarine outside a Thai cave, looking to make a buck off fans who apparently believe the Tesla CEO would give away cryptocurrency as amends for baselessly accusing a rescue diver of being a pedophile.
Shares in Tesla stock took a hit on Monday after Musk, the company’s CEO, accused Vern Unsworth, the British diver who rescued 12 kids from a cave in Thailand, of being a "pedo" over the weekend, noting that a British man living in Thailand is automatically "sus" to him.
Musk's comments came after Unsworth told a reporter that Musk’s cave-diving submarine, which he flew to Thailand after the rescue plans were already underway, a “PR stunt” had “absolutely no chance of working.”
Unsworth is now reportedly considering legal action against Musk.
But whatever the motivator, Musk mustered up the wherewithal to issue a half-hearted apology to the diver on Twitter. And in response, scammers, using a handle designed to look like Musk's, faked a follow-up tweet offering to show how sorry he is in bitcoin.
“My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader,” Musk tweeted on Wednesday morning.
A scammer with the Twitter handle @elomtusk and the same profile picture tweeted a response to Musk’s apology, made to look like it was coming from Musk himself. The tweet contained a link to a fake page offering free cryptocurrency, explaining that anyone who sends an “identifying transaction” will get 10 times that transaction sent back to them.
They did not.
The original scam tweet was removed on Wednesday morning. But another fake account, @elohumsk, reposted the same exact tweet, which was still live as of press time.
People apparently are falling for it.
Then again, an eagle-eyed reader might have been put on alert by the fact that the scam page offered far more of an apology than the real Elon Musk.
“I know that sometimes people can get angry and voice an opinion that looks aggressive. Reacting in the way I did was not a good thing. As such I thought of a cool way to make amends with anyone who feels offended,” the fake page reads, under a photo of Elon. “A way to get yourself free crypto. How does it sound?”
Cover image: Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images.