Brighton teacher falls for Bitcoin scam after fake BBC News website promised Elon Musk giveaway

A teacher lost £9,000 that she had hoped to use as a house deposit after falling victim to a Bitcoin scam that promised Elon Musk would ‘double her investment’.

Julie Bushnell, from Farnborough in Hampshire, lost thousands of pounds after visiting a fake BBC News website that said the billionaire was having a Bitcoin ‘giveaway’.

The website, which is made to look like BBC News and is still active, advertised that Mr Musk had bought $1.5billion worth of Bitcoin and was doubling people’s cryptocurrency investments. There is no suggestion Mr Musk was involved in the scam. 

An active trader herself, the Brighton teacher and mother thought to take advantage of the eccentric Tesla CEO’s generosity, but quickly realised she had been a victim of fraud.

Con artists were able to swindle £9,000 out of Ms Bushnell, who has revealed the lasting effects the scam has had on her.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the incident, she said she was ‘ashamed and embarrassed’, suffered panic attacks and was constantly ‘crying and shaking’. 

The news comes as cryptocurrency trading experts revealed blockchain ‘giveaway scams’ have skyrocketed in 2021, costing victims more than £13million globally.

Science teacher Julie Bushnell (pictured) lost £9,000 that she had saved for a house deposit when scammers tricked her into believing Elon Musk was conducting a Bitcoin giveaway

Science teacher Julie Bushnell (pictured) lost £9,000 that she had saved for a house deposit when scammers tricked her into believing Elon Musk was conducting a Bitcoin giveaway

Science teacher Julie Bushnell (pictured) lost £9,000 that she had saved for a house deposit when scammers tricked her into believing Elon Musk was conducting a Bitcoin giveaway

Ms Bushnell is an active cryptocurrency trader herself, and was lured in by a fake website that looked similar to BBC News

Ms Bushnell, who invests in cryptocurrency herself, was lured in by the website that looked similar to BBC News – which claimed Mr Musk, chief of electric car firm Tesla, would double Bitcoin deposits.

She handed over £9,000, which she had intended to use for a house deposit, but soon realised something was amiss when she did not receive anything in return.

The teacher frantically scurried to suspend her Lloyds account and any pending transactions, but it was already too late. 

She was left ‘crying and shaking’ and spent hours combing the web to see if there was a way she could reclaim her money. 

The science teacher insists she still thinks about her actions ‘every day’ and wants to raise awareness to ensure others don’t fall victim to similar scams. 

The fake website (shown above) which used branding similar to BBC News, advertised a Bitcoin giveaway by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The website is still active

The fake website (shown above) which used branding similar to BBC News, advertised a Bitcoin giveaway by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The website is still active

The fake website (shown above) which used branding similar to BBC News, advertised a Bitcoin giveaway by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The website is still active

After being conned by the fraudsters, Ms Bushnell decided to go public with her story in a warning to others.

She told The Argus: ‘I stayed up all night searching the internet of ways in which I could get this money back.

‘I tried to sleep but couldn’t as I was having constant panic attacks and couldn’t stop shaking.

‘I feel utterly depressed and I don’t know where to turn or how I will get past this horrific situation. 

‘I can’t eat or sleep properly and I keep crying while at work and running off to the toilets during the day and breaking down in floods of tears feeling ashamed and embarrassed of what has happened.’

Real time blockchain trading analysis website Whale Alert estimated Bitcoin scams had stung more than 10,500 victims over the course of 2020. 

The cryptocurrency experts behind Whale Alert also warned that scammers ‘are becoming more professional and dangerous’.

In the first few months of 2021 alone, con artists have claimed more than £13million from 5,600 victims in cryptocurrency giveaway fraud.

Ms Bushell has reported her crime to Sussex Police, who have been contacted to provide comment.  

She told the BBC: ‘I wish I could have that time back – go in a time machine and not make those couple of clicks.

‘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.’

In a statement, the BBC said it is ‘taking action to close the site down’.  

Cryptocurrencies are ‘mined’ by high-powered computers that require huge amounts of energy to continuously solve computational maths puzzles. 

With each solved problem, a certain amount of coin is produced. While the machines use electricity, fossil fuel is a major category in electricity generation. 

The rising price of Bitcoin over the last two years has resulted in carbon emissions increasing by more than 40 million tons – the equivalent of an additional 8.9million cars on the road.

As of today, one Bitcoin is worth £36,145.70. 

WHAT IS A BITCOIN? A LOOK AT THE DIGITAL CURRENCY

What is a Bitcoin?   

Bitcoin is what is referred to  as a ‘crypto-currency.’ 

It is the internet’s version of money – a unique pieces of digital property that can be transferred from one person to another.

Bitcoins are generated by using an open-source computer program to solve complex math problems. This process is known as mining.  

Each Bitcoin has it’s own unique fingerprint and is defined by a public address and a private key – or strings of numbers and letters that give each a specific identity.

They are also characterized by their position in a public database of all Bitcoin transactions known as the blockchain. 

The blockchain is maintained by a distributed network of computers around the world.

Because Bitcoins allow people to trade money without a third party getting involved, they have become popular with libertarians as well as technophiles, speculators — and criminals.

Where do Bitcoins come from?

People create Bitcoins through mining.

Mining is the process of solving complex math problems using computers running Bitcoin software.

These mining puzzles get increasingly harder as more Bitcoins enter circulation.

The rewards are cut in half at regular intervals due to a deliberate slowdown in the rate at which new Bitcoins enter circulation. 

Who’s behind the currency?

Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by a person or group of people operating under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and then adopted by a small clutch of enthusiasts.

Nakamoto dropped off the map as Bitcoin began to attract widespread attention, but proponents say that doesn’t matter: the currency obeys its own, internal logic.

Dr Craig Wright was suspected as the creator following a report by Wired last year and he has now confirmed his identity as the cryptocurrency’s founder.  

What’s a bitcoin worth?

Like any other currency, Bitcoins are only worth as much as you and your counterpart want them to be. 

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Physical coin used as an illustration

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Physical coin used as an illustration

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Physical coin used as an illustration

In its early days, boosters swapped Bitcoins back and forth for minor favours or just as a game. 

One website even gave them away for free. 

As the market matured, the value of each Bitcoin grew.

Is the currency widely used?

That’s debatable.

Businesses ranging from blogging platform WordPress to retailer Overstock have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon amid a flurry of media coverage, but it’s not clear whether the currency has really taken off. 

On the one hand, leading Bitcoin payment processor BitPay works with more than 20,000 businesses – roughly five times more than it did last year. 

On the other, the total number of Bitcoin transactions has stayed roughly constant at between 60,000 and 70,000 per day over the same period, according to Bitcoin wallet site blockchain.info.

Is Bitcoin particularly vulnerable to counterfeiting?

The Bitcoin network works by harnessing individuals’ greed for the collective good. 

A network of tech-savvy users called miners keep the system honest by pouring their computing power into a blockchain, a global running tally of every bitcoin transaction. 

The blockchain prevents rogues from spending the same bitcoin twice, and the miners are rewarded for their efforts by being gifted with the occasional Bitcoin. 

As long as miners keep the blockchain secure, counterfeiting shouldn’t be an issue.

<!—->

Advertisement

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 91 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply