YouTube Live and Crypto Scams


2 min read

Scammers are impersonating Tesla on YouTube live streams to promote fraud.

Recently, I was suggested a YouTube Livestream in which Elon Musk spoke about cryptocurrencies. I was curious about why the video, which had about 1300 people watching it at the same time, was featured on my homepage. The video displayed a QR code with a pinned tweet and was streamed on the “Tesla” channel. The tweet is fake, and the QR code directs users to a phony website.

In the live chat, Elon Musk's giveaway is announced, and viewers are encouraged to send bitcoins to get a bonus of twice that amount.

Opening the advertised URL in a sandbox loads the website’s homepage, which displays a convincing picture of Elon Musk, further pushing the idea that the giveaway is legitimate.

The “Participate” button takes you to a page that shows BTC and ETH addresses to transfer the cryptocurrencies. Below the address, there were fraudulent transactions indicating that the senders were receiving double the amount of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Despite the convincing imagery and legitimate-looking transactions, this giveaway was a scam.

The website’s chat feature was especially amusing but is broken.

Since the channel was breaking YouTube’s terms of service and attempting to steal cryptocurrency from unsuspecting victims, I reported it at this point.

YouTube responded quickly and informed us that the reported videos had been restricted or removed.