Fraudsters Use Fake Elon Musk YouTube Videos To Lure Victims Into Bitcoin, Etherium Scam: Report
Fake YouTube accounts showing streaming videos of billionaire Elon Musk casually talking about cryptos are doing the rounds using what’s known as a “giveaway” scam, it was reported Friday, June 10.
Cybercriminals employ a fairly simple trick: dangle fake cryptocurrency “gifts” as bait and use videos of the world’s most famous tech entrepreneur predicting Bitcoin prices or sharing his views on cryptocurrency. currencies to attract victims.
What is the hack?
Fraudsters are allegedly cracking or hijacking YouTube accounts and then uploading fake streaming videos to promote fake cryptocurrency giveaway offers.
The BBC reported on Friday June 10 that cybercriminals changed the name and image of dozens of YouTube channels – including those of deceased YouTubers – to make them look like the official channels of Tesla – which is run by Musk.
Note: If you ever come across such a video, which then led you to a discussion or a page about cryptos, then it is possible that you have been targeted by cybercriminals.
How are the victims roped up?
The videos tempt people with offers such as “double your money” and asking them to send Bitcoin or Ethereum to certain digital wallets.
This is called the “gift wallet” scam. With YouTubers’ fake accounts hacked, thousands of people were tricked – for months – into sending cryptocurrency to criminals, on the promise that they would receive a prize from the billionaire.
Who is behind this racket?
A “network” of suspected cybercriminals is seen behind the ruse, the BBC said.
Scammers are thought to buy pairs of hacked emails and passwords from previous online data breaches – or simply try common passwords with known email addresses.
How much money was diverted from the victims?
According to a report, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies have been taken from unsuspecting victims.
Whale Alert, one of the largest and fastest growing crypto communities, believes that the “free scammer wallets” they track show the following “benefits”:
> 2022: $30 million (January to June)
Among those hacked is a string of Latin music artists. The artist had told the BBC that his subscribers were puzzled as to why he was streaming Tesla content.
“My followers on other social media started asking me what was going on with my channel name and were very confused as to why I was posting Tesla content,” he said.
“It’s very frustrating to have your YouTube channel hacked after putting so many years of work into it,” the artist said.
In 2021, a man hoping to double his money allegedly sent scammers $400,000 worth of Bitcoin, after seeing a fake social media advertisement.
This year, scammers earned $243,000 in one week – “23 Bitcoin transfers totaling 7,68923261 coins worth $234,000, 18 Ethereum transfers totaling 5,016 coins worth $9,000” , the report adds.
What did Musk and the other victims say?
Elon Musk has denounced YouTube for “non-stop fraudulent ads”, even after he threatened to quit buying Twitter from fake accounts run by bots.
Another victim also attacked YouTube for “not doing enough” on security issues to prevent hacker attacks.
What did YouTube say or do?
YouTube, owned by Google (Alphabet), said it had removed one of the channels BBC News alerted it to, adding: “We have strict community guidelines prohibiting scams, including impersonation and piracy.”
What is the main reason for this scam?
It’s mostly money, in the form of cryptos, which are harder to track. The scammers had been less successful this year, said Whale Alert founder Frank van Weert, but were still making millions.
A surge in the price of Bitcoin also increases the loot of hackers.