- Crypto scammers are still trying to steal your money through fake YouTube giveaways
- The scammers flood YouTube with old interviews and conference talks from crypto luminaries
- The videos are accompanied by fake giveaways designed to lure in marks
Cryptocurrency scammers are still flooding YouTube with old interviews from the likes of Vitalik Buterin, Changpeng Zhao and Michael Saylor which feature fake ‘giveaways’ that convince viewers to send in crypto and get more back in return. Not only this, the scammers continue to hijack genuine YouTube accounts to stream from, adding a further layer of legitimacy to the scam.
How the Scam Works
The practice was first noticed in 2020, but there has been no let up in the scale of the operation, with new individuals constantly identified for inclusion in the fake giveaway scam. The concept is very simple – scammers get hold of an old interview with a well-known individual in crypto circles, re-post it as a livestream, and promote the fraudulent giveaway in the information section.
The scammers believe that the ‘live’ element offers more credibility than just re-posting it as a video, with the live chat and comments sections also spammed with positive responses to the ‘giveaway’.
Phishing Used to Hack Genuine YouTube Accounts
The secondary part of the scam is the use of legitimate YouTube users’ account, which they achieve by phishing tactics. Victims are coaxed into downloading software that, in the background, captures a screenshot of their computer, system information, all passwords it can find, and establishes a remote connection.
After this the hacker simply renames their YouTube account with something along the lines of ‘Binance Giveaway’, hides all their old videos, changes their public profile to include the ‘giveaway’ information, and posts the fake interview.
How to Protect Yourself
In order to protect yourself against the ongoing scam, it’s important to remember that hackers are like vampires – in order to wreak havoc, they first have to be invited in. In order to keep them at bay, treat unsolicited emails or messages with suspicion, and do your due diligence before engaging with anyone who contacts you through YouTube or any other social media site. And, needless to say, don’t hand over cryptocurrency to someone asking for it on social media.