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Fake Crypto Giveaways Featuring Elon Musk on YouTube Stole Millions of Dollars

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
Fake Crypto Giveaways Featuring Elon Musk on YouTube Stole Millions of Dollars
Photo: Unsplash

Crypto scammers are leveraging platforms like YouTube featuring old videos of popular personalities like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey to promote their own crypto giveaway scams.

Fake crypto giveaway scams continue to make rounds all across social media and YouTube remains the most preferred choice. On Sunday, May 8, Bleeping Computers reports that crypto giveaway scams are stealing millions of dollars by playing old videos of billionaires Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey on YouTube.

These videos generated tends-of-thousands of views and promoted bogus crypto scams with the old “double your investment” promises. Earlier this year, Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey both appeared at “The B Word” conference hosted by Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood.

The fraudsters just re-streamed an edited version of this entire panel discussion. As per the report, the fraudsters made a staggering $1.3 million from the same.

Previously, scammers have used videos featuring Elon Musk at Tesla launches or SpaceX launches. These scammers then promote fake giveaway scams while stealing millions of dollars from users.

YouTube Turning a Hot Bed of Crypto Scams

Social media platforms have been vulnerable to misuse by the bad actors and YouTube is one among them. Back in 2020, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse filed a lawsuit against YouTube as it failed to remove fake videos featuring them.

However, YouTube claimed that it wasn’t responsible for what third parties were published on its platform. As per an investigation by BleepingComputer, close to 10 YouTube channels had published the discussion. These videos feature the link to the fraudulent crypto giveaway websites.

Furthermore, scammers continue to churn out genuine-looking new websites every single day. This makes it even more challenging to stop them from stealing funds. Crypto scams on YouyTube have been rampant over the last year, especially featuring popular crypto personalities.

Last Thursday, researchers at cyber security firm McAfee monitored such scams and published a report identifying 11 such fraudulent websites. In the report, McAfee notes that the number of such fraudulent websites increased from 11 to 26 within 24 hours.

“The YouTube streams advertised several sites which shared a similar theme. They claim to send cryptocurrency worth double the value which they’ve received. For example, if you send 1BTC you will receive 2BTC in return. The sites attempt to trick the visitors into thinking that others are sending cryptocurrency to it by showing a table with recent transactions. This is fake and is generated by JavaScript which creates random crypto wallets and amounts and then adds these to the table,” reads the report further.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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