A SCHOOLTEACHER who was conned out of her savings in a bitcoin scam says the experience has changed her life.

Julie Bushnell was "robbed" of more than £9,000 that she had saved as a deposit on her first home in a bitcoin scam posted on a fake news website.

The scam, posted on a fraud web page made to look like the BBC, used the name of entrepreneur Elon Musk to suggest she could double her money if she deposited her Bitcoin.

After forking out $12,650 (£9,007), the Brighton teacher immediately tried to disable her bank account, but it was too late.

Ms Bushnell told The Argus she wishes she could go back in a "time machine" and undo the error that cost her thousands.

She said: "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 and crying.

"I then reported it to my bank, Lloyds who said they couldn’t help.

"I then contacted the Sussex Police and Action Fraud who both took details of what had happened and complied reports which have been sent to the national fraud intelligence bureau.

"This whole ordeal has left me feeling totally and utterly depressed and emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted.

The Argus:  Julie Bushnell and her daughter Julie Bushnell and her daughter

"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."

Bitcoin is a type of crypto currency that enables users to make peer-to-peer transactions without going through a bank.

Bitcoins are used to carry out anonymous digital purchases or transfers, and every transfer or purchase is logged digitally – known as blockchain.

In the past, the currency has mainly been used as a way of making money by buying bitcoins at lower prices and selling for higher prices.

Now, though, they are gaining popularity as a form of payment for businesses - including Tesla.

Elon Musk's brand allows customers to buy cars using the crypto currency which Ms Bushnell had been an early investor in.

The Argus: The fake website was made to look like the BBC and is still active The fake website was made to look like the BBC and is still active

"I want to raise awareness of this scam so it doesn’t happen to other vulnerable people, otherwise they will end up like me, feeling embarrassed, worthless, helpless and psychologically robbed and abused," she added.

"These scammers have robbed me of my deposit for my mortgage, our future home for my family.

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