YouTube seems to be the new favorite hunting ground for scammers as there has been a spree of Bitcoin giveaway scams. Just Last month the industry witnessed hackers take over the YouTube channel of one of India’s biggest YouTubers to promote a Bitcoin scam.
The videos mostly impersonate renowned figures and well-established companies in the crypto industry like Ripple or Binance.
The scam giveaways reach even more YouTube viewers and trick them into sending Bitcoin when large verified accounts get hijacked posting ‘free giveaway’ videos.
One of the more recent victims is Jon Prosser, who’s YouTube channel named Front Page Tech with over 262,000 subscribers was hacked, and the channel name was changed to “NASA [news]” and a fake Bitcoin (BTC) giveaway video featuring SpaceX’s Elon Musk was streamed live.
“Hackers have made $4,000 in Bitcoin so far. YouTube tells me I need to fill out a form and wait ‘a few weeks.’ If any ACTUAL YouTube reps see this, please get in contact with me.”
The creator lost 7 years’ worth of videos as those were deleted by scammers. The channel was later taken down 2 hours after Prosser notified YouTube.
Prosser later tweeted that the attacker used a SIM swap attack, a popular technique used by hackers where they trick telecom companies and replicate the victim’s SIM card, to gain access to his channel using its two-factor authentication (2FA).
These scams are quite similar to that of the Twitter hackers, who hijacked several celebrity Twitter accounts like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, in a single day, to promote crypto scams to unsuspecting Twitter users.
However, in the case of the Twitter breach, the attacker gained access to Twitter’s internal systems to access the accounts, but in the case of YouTube, there haven’t been any reports from the video streaming platform about any kind of security breach.
It could be possible that the attackers are gaining access in a similar manner to what happened in Prosser’s case. There have also been reports of hackers selling verified accounts on the dark web.
YouTube is under pressure
YouTube is also amidst multiple lawsuits, with one coming from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and the other one from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Both Garlinghouse and Wozniak complain that YouTube has deliberately not taken any action regarding the constant scam videos that seem to pop up every other day, scamming thousands of people at a time.
Both the Plaintiffs also allege that YouTube had been notified about these scams multiple times, but the company failed to act swiftly.
Besides Prosser, Rod Breslau, a gaming consultant for Sony, reported multiple channels live streaming videos of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who also happens to be a crypto advocate, and promoting BTC giveaways.
One of the reasons behind these scams could be the ongoing Bitcoin rally that has brought BTC back under the spotlights again after three years. The number cryptocurrency is skyrocketing towards its all-time high, and thus new traders are flowing in with the hopes of exploiting the asset’s volatility, or in this case trying do double one’s fortune.
The industry is relatively new, and the majority of the world is still unaware of the various perks of digital currencies. Those that are starting to invest now, are still unaware of these scams and are easily duped by these bad actors.
As reported by The Daily Chain, Scammer could easily be making more than $50 million in 2020.