YouTube has implemented multiple aggressive measures against crypto-related content. Nonetheless, the platform is having many challenges discovering a massive scam that involved cryptocurrency. One popular YouTube channel was recently hijacked and went ahead to live-stream an alleged ask-me-anything (AMA) with Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO.
But, the stream that seems to have been running for over 12 hours on April 6, was a scam. It encouraged users to send Bitcoin payments with a promise of a non-existent 5,000 BTC giveaway.
Usual Crypto Scam Refreshed
This YouTube scam follows a similar format to the famous Twitter con, where a spoof account will be created to mimic a well-known crypto or celebrity individual. The said figure allegedly has a massive amount of Bitcoin or Ether to give away, and through sending some of your cryptos to a given address, victims are duped into believing that they will get between two and ten times the amount in return.
This time around, someone managed to hack into an already established YouTube channel, TopTenz, that has over 1.63 million subscribers. This channel has since been rebranded as “CoinbasePRO English.” It has been live-streaming the AMA using old, looped footage of the Coinbase CEO answering different viewers’ questions.
The stream also provided a Bitcoin address and QR code coupled with a promise that any Bitcoin sent will instantly get double the amount in return. Sending any Bitcoin to the address will result in a total loss since the whole scheme is a scam.
$50K stolen and counting
Only one transaction that has a value of 0.44 BTC has been sent to the provided address currently, according to the Blockchain block explorer. That address has only been live for a few hours while two other previously advertises addresses got 2.548 BTC and 4.209 BTC, respectively.
That makes a cumulative total of around 7.2 BTC that has been stolen so far with a value of more than $51,200 currently. Probably a more serious question than how much money has been lost to scammers would be, “How can such a scam have happened for more than 11 hours of live streaming?”
Coinbase, YouTube, and the TopTenz YouTube did not immediately respond to reporters.
Recent Case On YouTube
On March 23, the crypto community discovered a fake YouTube account that was seen to impersonate Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple blockchain company. The particular account was promoting a fake airdrop scam.
@YouTube @bgarlinghouse @Ripple @JoelKatz someone has created a YT account as Brad Garlinghouse and is using this video to promote an xrp airdrop scam. @YouTube you need to shut this down #XRP #xrpthestandard #Ripple pic.twitter.com/T1fZzkHg7f
— Andy_SPQR ⚡️ (@AndySpqr) March 23, 2020
The massive increase in popularity of blockchain, bitcoin, and other cryptos has also attracted an ever-increasing number of criminals and scams. Despite the multiple warnings by authorities and watchdog agencies, investors still fall into traps of these cybercriminals.
In this instance, the scammer’s account had almost 277,000 subscribers. Strangely enough, at the time when it was operating the fraudulent activities, it had only one video that promoted a fake giveaway in XRP cryptocurrency.
The video description advanced a fake airdrop of 50 million XRP tokens. Before the scam was highlighted, the criminal had already amassed over 85,000 views.
Although the video used was not a fake since it featured a real interview that Garlinghouse gave in February 2020, the criminal lied in the video description. The Ripple CEO delayed in reacting to the scam alert despite many reports mentioning him.