The crypto industry is no stranger to scams and frauds, and billions in assets and funds have been lost. According to the Q4 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) report 2019, the total amount of funds lost to frauds and thefts stands at $4.1 billion. With the growth and advancement of the crypto-industry, the culprits continue to innovate and outpace the system and the law.
In one of the recent scandals, the crypto community has exposed a YouTube account pretending to be Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, to promote a fake airdrop scam. Despite YouTube’s crackdowns on crypto-related content, the largest video-hosting platform has failed to crackdown a major scam.
Send XRP to get XRP
The scam account has a whopping 277,000 subscribers and a single video of a real interview of Garlinghouse back in February. The video is just an illusion to make the scam look legitimate for those that are unaware. The Video description promotes a fake 50 million airdrop of XRP tokens.
The crypto industry is relatively new, and those that are new to the space have little or no idea about the legitimacy of these contests. While the entire scam looks too obvious, it can easily trick those that are unaware by promising them easy money.
The video description presents an airdrop contest from March 20 to March 25, and the scammer has asked his viewers to send between 2,000 XRP to 500,000 XRP in order to “participate” in exchange for immediate airdrop of 20,000 to 5 million XRP.
This is a classic and a very common scam that anyone familiar with the Crypto-space must have come across at least once. In this case, the fraudster promises to send 2.5 million XRP back in exchange for sending 250,000 XRP ($40,000) to his/her crypto address. So far, the address has amassed 5,135 XRP ($800).
The scam was first reported by the co-founder of crypto podcast SPQR Media on March 23 after he saw an ad of the scam page popping up on his YouTube feed. According to him, scammers might be able to purchase YouTube accounts, he told media outlet Cointelegraph:
“In my opinion I think what’s happening is these scammers are purchasing YouTube channels with large numbers of subscribers and then deleting all content and uploading that video. I think that’s how they are able to maintain a presence on YouTube.”
Garlinghouse house responds
When Garlinghouse was alerted about the fake YouTube account, he lost his cool. In a series of tweets, He went on to state that social platforms must hold scammers like these “accountable” for defrauding investors. Thereon, he clarified that Ripple doesn’t host any kind of giveaways. He wrote:
YouTube on the Wrong Track
The news comes weeks after YouTube went on to remove hundreds of cryptocurrency-related videos starting December 23. The platform removed several cryptocurrency-related videos and gave warnings and “strikes,” to the creators, which prevented them from producing new content. The incident was reported by several content creators who claimed that their videos were being removed citing “harmful or dangerous content.”
However, YouTube later went on to admit that the mass deletion was an error on their part, stating:
“Hey there, this was an error on our side during the review process – your video should be reinstated and strikes resolved. Let us know if you’re seeing otherwise!”