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Elon Musk aims to end controls on his Tesla tweets

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Elon Musk said he had been 'forced' to accept the 2018 deal under threat of a lawsuit


Elon Musk said he had been ‘forced’ to accept the 2018 deal under threat of a lawsuit – Copyright AFP/File JIM WATSON

Tesla chief Elon Musk is trying to cancel an agreement he made in 2018 with the US stock market regulator (SEC) that requires some of his tweets to be approved by lawyers before they are posted.

A lawyer for the billionaire said in a letter to a New York court on Tuesday that the current dispute was “yet another attempt to harass Tesla and silence Mr Musk”.

The South Africa-born mogul agreed in 2018 that any tweets capable of moving Tesla’s share price would be screened by lawyers, as part of a deal that saw him pay $20 million to settle a fraud case.

The SEC brought the case after Musk tweeted that he had enough funding to privatise the electric automaker.

The tweet caused a brief spike in Tesla’s share price but the SEC said the statements on Twitter were “false and misleading”.

In this week’s court filings, Musk defended his original tweet.

“My August 7, 2018 tweet was written at a time when I was in fact considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share,” he said.

He said he had been “forced” to accept the 2018 deal under threat of a lawsuit.

“I never lied to shareholders. I would never lie to shareholders,” he is quoted as saying.

“I entered into the consent decree (with the SEC) for the survival of Tesla, for the sake of its shareholders.”

His team accuses the SEC of “relentlessly” investigating the boss’s tweets over the past four years.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC opened another inquiry in February over a Twitter poll held by Musk last November.

Musk asked his Twitter followers whether he should sell 10 percent of his stake in Tesla, causing the share price to drop.

A day earlier, his brother Kimbal had sold $108 million of his shares.

The regulator is investigating whether his brother — a Tesla board member — knew about the Twitter poll before his sell-off, according to the WSJ.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.



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Pig butchering and the other peculiar cyber-scams on the rise

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Pig butchering and the other peculiar cyber-scams on the rise

Pointing to a computer screen. Image by Tim Sandle.

The countdown to holiday period shopping is on. While sales are up, so are risks. Barclay’s estimate a 70 percent increase in scams the last year. Hence, consumers need to be even more vigilant with the deals they’re seeking out and the websites they are purchasing from.

To help Digital Journal  readers be more mindful as to the key risk factors, James Walker, CEO at Rightly, explains the main issues. This includes an uptick in recent ‘brushing scams’ and fake reviews, as well as further details around other types of scams to watch out for.

Walker sees this period of time as providing ample situations for “Fraudsters to take advantage of innocent consumers. There are multiple tactics scammers use to convince people to part with their money, particularly in the run-up to a day which promises huge savings. One scam in particular we’ve been seeing an increase in is the so-called brushing scam in the lead up to the festive season, which involves unsuspecting people receiving unsolicited deliveries.”

Expanding on the strange deliveries, Walker says: “If you receive an unexpected package, it may be a scam that online sellers use to falsely inflate ratings and post fake reviews, and may mean your personal data has been compromised. If you have received an unexpected package from a company such as Amazon and suspect it to be a brushing scam, contact customer support directly. They can tell you whether your real account has been compromised and will cancel the fake account. The same goes for other marketplaces like eBay.”

Expanding on this tactic, Walker explains: “Unfortunately, such scams have also led to significant increase in fake reviews on Amazon, with an estimated 61 percent of all reviews classified as fake as fraudulent sellers try to manipulate buyers into making a purchase. Always be cautious when buying online and do as much background research as possible on a company or product before buying anything.”

Among the most prevalent scams, Walker cites:

Social media scams

This is where scammers take over your social profile, gaining access to influence your friends and family. But this is only the start of taking over someone’s life, this can lead to the opening of bank accounts and creating fake identities in your name.

Burner businesses

This is when scammers buy a company for a reasonable amount and appear to trade, genuinely selling goods and services. They build up lots of sales, and then when the time is right, they move the money out and close down the business, leaving people out of pocket and either with fake goods or none at all.

Tickets to events

With the football World Cup taking place, it’s not too surprising to see that ticket scams are on the rise. Ticket selling scams happen when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money. The scammer usually sells fake tickets, or you pay for a ticket, but never receive it. They are common when tickets for popular concerts, plays, and sporting events sell out. Additionally, scam artists purporting to represent musicians or bands have invited promoters to send offers for non-existent tour dates in a phishing email.

Pig butchering

It sounds unpleasant, but so called ‘pig-butchering’ scams are on the rise. These scams happen when someone seemingly friendly and open befriends you online and over time, through a series of conversations, persuades you to part with money. It’s often a little at first, suggesting you put some cash into a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ investment. Only, of course, the investment is a scam and fraudulent.

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