YouTube Viewers Lost $1.6 Million in Cryptocurrencies in Three Days on Fake Streams
From February 16 to 18, Group-IB specialists identified 36 fraudulent YouTube broadcasts dedicated to cryptocurrency investments. They brought over $1.6 million to the scammers.
The attackers edited videos of old speeches by famous representatives of the cryptocurrency community and entrepreneurs. Vitalik Buterin, Elon Musk, Brad Garlinghouse, Michael Saylor, Changpeng Zhao and Cathy Wood were used more often than others.
The fake stream with Buterin drew over 165,000 viewers. On average, the audience of such a stream is from 3,000 to 18,000 people. During the broadcast, users were offered to transfer cryptocurrencies to the specified wallet and allegedly receive them in double volume.
In total, tricked viewers made 281 transactions worth more than $1.68 million (at the February exchange rate). Ethereum turned out to be the most popular among scammers – $933,963.
For an “additional bonus”, the attackers offered the investor to provide the seed phrase of their crypto wallet. If the victim agreed, the scammers would withdraw all the funds on it.
Group-IB has also identified YouTube shows aimed at NFT buyers. The description of the video contained a link to a phishing site, where customers were promised a token in exchange for a password and a wallet seed.
In three months, experts registered the registration of more than 580 domain names associated with fraudulent distributions. This is three times more than during the whole of the previous year.
Most of the domains involved in the broadcasts appeared, from February 13, via Russian registrar Reg.ru. At the same time, several resources are registered for one person.
Group-IB experts recommend that you always check the information on the investment conditions and in no case disclose the seed phrase of the portfolio to third parties.
Recall that at the end of October 2021, Google prevented a large-scale hack of YouTube channels for bitcoin fraud.
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