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Elon Musk Distances Himself from Latest Crypto Deepfake Scam

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Elon Musk Distances Himself from Latest Crypto Deepfake Scam
Photo: Ministério Das Comunicações / Flickr

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has raised concerns over a recent deepfake video of him attempting to market a rewarding crypto investment scheme.

Another deepfake video of Elon Musk has been making the rounds, prompting the Tesla CEO to issue a disclaimer. The latest crypto scam featuring Musk’s likeness attempts to persuade unwitting social media users to invest in a questionable trading platform. The outspoken billionaire businessman took to Twitter to inform his followers that the video is not from him.

For the illegitimate video, the scammers used original footage of Musk interacting with curator Chris Anderson at a TED Talk conference in Vancouver last month.

The perpetrator of Elon Musk’s latest deepfake is fake trading platform BitVex.

Twitter Users Pick Holes in the Elon Musk Deepfake Crypto Video

Purportedly, investors on the platform would receive up to 30% in returns on their crypto deposits. However, upon closer inspection of the video, it is clear that the image of Musk is not speaking in sync with the overlaying message. In addition, the Tesla head appears to sound unintelligible and robotic.

Some keen-eyed Twitter users commented on the poor quality of the fabricated video, with one user tweeting “This is a terrible deep fake”. In addition, Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus suggested that anyone gullible enough to fall victim to the obvious sham was probably deserving of it. However, Markus also followed up that comment with “the scammers deserve to spend their life in jail.”

Markus concluded by suggesting that one might be hard-pressed to find a victim of the fabricated video. If there is, such a victim would probably be vulnerable to anything else.

“L​ike literally anyone watching that and thinking it’s real would lose their money to anything.”

Crypto Scams

Crypto scams, including deepfakes, were commonplace in 2021 and also the year before that. In fact, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report estimating that more than $80 million worth of crypto was stolen over a six-month period.

Deep fakes use artificial intelligence to create false images to present a misleading impression. The process entails overlaying synthetic images over others and manipulating audio sounds to push a contrived agenda.

Musk’s globally-renowned status as one of the gatekeepers of modern tech naturally makes him a preferred target for scammers.  The criminals want to leverage Musk’s influence to scam unsuspecting social media users and investors.

Twitter Acquisition

Musk has been dominating the world of tech in recent weeks over his Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) acquisition deal. The world’s richest man said he decided to buy the microblogging platform to promote free speech. Musk also promised to revolutionize Twitter’s mode of operation by introducing new initiatives. Part of this entails tackling spam bots as well as accepting meme coin Dogecoin (DOGE) as payment for certain services.

“A top priority I would have is eliminating the spam and scam bots and the bot armies that are on Twitter. They make the product much worse. If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, we’d have 100 billion Dogecoin,” said Musk.

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