Scammers Used YouTube to Scam Viewers with Bitcoin Money Making Scheme
Scammers bilked about $150k out of YouTube viewers who thought they were watching an official Space channel. The scammers hijacked three unrelated YouTube channels to offered up another Bitcoin scam. They stole money from viewers by offering handsome returns on the victims’ “investments.” The hijacked channels were renamed to trick viewers into thinking they were watching official SpaceX streams that in reality were running Bitcoin scams, according to a post in Bleeping Computer. All three channels have over 100, 000 subscribers but far less than the legitimate SpaceX YouTube channel has 4.33 million subscribers.
“All of these hijacked channels are now live streaming recordings of Elon Musk being interviewed or a SpaceX conference, and promote scams asking people to send in a small amount of Bitcoins to get double the amount back.,” says Bleeping Computer.
The hackers behind the scams asked their YouTube viewers to invest in a money-making scheme. Viewers were tricked into transferring bitcoins to a hacker-controlled cryptocurrency wallet. One wallet has received 29 transactions for a total of 4.08 BTC and the other scored 84 transactions and 11.23 BTC. All together the three-channels scam netted about $150,000 USD.
The channels were taken over and rebranded to look like the legitimate SpaceX YouTube channel. The three channels previously named ‘Juice TV,’ ‘Right Human,’ and ‘MaximSakulevich’, were all renamed to ‘SpaceX Live’ or ‘SpaceX.
All three channels have since been removed by YouTube since the initial report for violating terms of service.
This is not the first Elon Musk themed cryptocurrency scam and YouTube isn’t the only channel used to trick people out of their money. Elon Musk themed Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, and other social media accounts are used to set up scams. Potential victims are offered significant returns on investment in exchange for handing over Bitcoin to the scammers. Although the fraud may be short lived before it is shut down, the scammers can make quite a bit of money. In the round, the YouTube SpaceX scam netted about $150,000 in just two days. So, it was well worth the time the scammers’ time. Past scams have used Elon Musk images and even connect other forms of social proof including fake reviews and pages talking about how much money people have made.
It’s unfortunate but people still fall for obvious scams like this.
How Can I Identify a Bitcoin Scam?
In general, when anyone guarantees you a return on investment, it’s most likely a scam. This applies to any type of investment, not just cryptocurrency. Stock market investments, real estate purchases, securities, bonds, or any other form of financial instrument comes with risk. No one can guarantee a certain amount of return on investment. The only exception would be a government-backed account like a certificate of deposit (CD) or interest-bearing bank account. But those don’t usually offer mad amounts of money and huge returns like that promised by Bitcoin scams.