Elon Musk crypto scams flood YouTube during SpaceX launch

    Scammers flooded YouTube during the fourth test launch of SpaceX’s Starship rocket on June 6. They employed AI to try to dupe unsuspecting viewers of their crypto assets.

    Flagged by cybersecurity researchers at Avast Threat Labs, the scammers reportedly “hijacked” more than 35 YouTube channels. The channels were then used to promote the age-old double your crypto scheme.

    🚀🚨 Beware! Crypto scammers hijacked 35+ @YouTube channels, spreading #DeepFake #crypto #scam of @elonmusk. Scammers abuse #SpaceX Starship’s 4th flight test, luring victims with double profits. Stay vigilant!

    — Avast Threat Labs (@AvastThreatLabs) June 6, 2024

    Fake Elon Musk promises to double crypto

    This common scamming technique involves scammers pretending to be a known personality or a brand. The bad actor then tries to convince users to send crypto to wallets under their control, promising them to double the amount in return.

    In this instance, the scammers timed their fake live streams to coincide with the official SpaceX launch period.

    One YouTube channel was spotted masquerading as an official SpaceX account. The channel ran 4 live streams simultaneously, promoting an AI-dubbed video of Elon Musk.

    Altered Elon Musk video promoting the scam, QR code blurred for safety. Source: YouTube

    In the video, the fake Elon Musk was seen urging viewers to scan a QR code. Once scanned, the QR is linked to a website designed by the scammers.

    Fake website designed by scammers to resemble SpaceX.

    Some of the bogus love streams garnered over 100,000 viewers while they were live.

    In some live streams, the video of Musk was blurred, making it hard for viewers to spot any altercations. The AI-dubbed voice was also accurate enough that any non-tech-savvy users would be fooled by it.

    “We are beginning to double your cryptocurrency, all you need to do is scan the QR code that you see on your screens […] By scanning this code, you will gain access to a special website,” the AI-altered Musk said. 

    Most of the wallets used by the scammers were for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

    At the time of publication, the live streams had been taken down. It is unknown how many users have been duped.

    Elon Musk’s history with scammers

    The SpaceX founder, who has often discussed cryptocurrencies with his over 186 million X followers, has become the face of crypto scams over the past years.

    Most recently, during the April 8 solar eclipse, YouTube witnessed several fake Space X giveaway scams promoting a similar scheme.

    A fake Musk was seen asking users to scan a QR code on the screen and deposit cryptocurrencies to have them doubled. The scammers were seen directing users to a Russian website that was registered on the same day.

    Last year, scammers managed to dupe investors of $165,000 using this scheme.

    However, the impersonation hasn’t been limited to just Musk. Several other celebrities have also seen their identity stolen and used to trick the public.  

    The surge in these sorts of scams on YouTube even prompted Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, along with 17 other victims, to sue the video streaming platform back in 2020.

    Google, the company behind YouTube, has also gotten involved and filed a lawsuit against scammers in April.

    The post Elon Musk crypto scams flood YouTube during SpaceX launch appeared first on Invezz

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