YouTube Crypto Scams On The Rise As Victims Lose Millions

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Crypto scams have been on the rise with the bull rally but scammers have found another medium to perpetuate their scams. YouTube has always been an effective marketing and influencing tool in the space, which is why it is sometimes a prime target for scammers. This time around, scammers have found another way to separate victims from their money and that is through compromised YouTube videos.

Scammers Take To YouTube

Tenable reported that the rate of giveaway scams is on the rise. The giveaways are publicized via videos posted on legitimate YouTube channels that have been compromised.

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Various YouTube channels have fallen victims to scammers who hijack their accounts to promote fake giveaways. In these giveaways, the scammers promise massive returns using the image of prominent people in the industry. This follows the same pattern; the price of cryptocurrencies begins to rise, a newsworthy event, and the images of influential people.

Scammers will usually post a video of an interview with prominent figures like Elon Musk, Michael Saylor, Vitalik Buterin, etc, and in some cases, attach a fake tweet from the Twitter handles of these people promoting their giveaway. Coupled with a spike in the price of an asset, these videos become a flytrap for investors who place a lot of importance on these influential voices.

Crypto total market cap chart from

Crypto total market cap slumps to $2.4 trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on

One example of this was when Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live. Speculations around the market were that Musk would promote the meme coin, driving it to a new all-time high.

Scammers had taken advantage of all of the hype around the appearance and hijacked accounts with millions of subscribers to carry out their schemes. It is reported that scammers made over $10 million in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin giveaways that were centered around Musk’s SNL appearance.

Millions Lost To Crypto Scams

These scams have proven to be effective for the scammers given the amount of money that has been made off them. In the report, Tenable outlines a Bitcoin wallet that had been used in one of the crypto scams. This particular scam had hijacked Michael Saylor’s identity to promote a giveaway. The scammers promised to double BTC that was sent to a particular wallet.

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The bitcoin wallet had 41 BTC in it when Tenable researcher Satnam Narang had first come across it. However, by November 19th, this number had grown to 132 BTC that had been stolen in the crypto scam, totaling about $7.7 million at the time.

In October, a subset of these scams made away with almost $9 million that was stolen from users. Bitcoin accounted for most of this figure with over $8.2 million stolen in giveaway scams. Ethereum had $413,983 stolen, while scammers profited off the Shiba Inu hype, with $239,346 stolen in October.

Featured image from Mashable, chart from