CRYPTOCURRENCIES

SpaceX YouTube scam cons viewers out of $150,000 in BTC

Three high profile YouTube channels have been hacked by scammers, pulling in as much as $150,000 in BTC in just two days.

First reported by BleepingComputer, the YouTube channels have been hijacked by scammers posing as Elon Musk’s SpaceX official channel. The channels are currently directing viewers to send digital currency as part of a giveaway opportunity.

In each of these cases, BTC is being actively scammed from unsuspecting viewers sending cryptocurrency on false pretenses, with reports suggesting the scams have netted thousands of dollars an hour since going live.

YouTube channels ‘Juice TV,’ ‘Right Human,’ and ‘MaximSakulevich’, have been hacked and renamed to ‘SpaceX’ or ‘SpaceX Live’, impersonating the official SpaceX channel. Each of the channels has hundreds of thousands of followers in its own right, with 4.3 million followers on the official SpaceX channel.

The channels simultaneously began broadcasting recordings of Elon Musk interviews or scenes from SpaceX events, asking viewers to send small amounts of digital currency to the wallet addresses provided for double their money back.

At the time of press, some 80,000 people are currently viewing the live streams in real time, which are still broadcasting on YouTube undetected.

According to analysis of one of the BTC addresses linked to the YouTube channels, some $39,840.18 in BTC has been received since the channel was hacked. Another shows receipts totaling $109,658.14 since the scam began.

Elon Musk impersonation scams have been running in various guises for a number of years, yet continue to scam unsuspecting victims. The digital currency scams typically take a similar format, asking users to send BTC as part of a fake competition, giveaway or double money offer.

YouTube was contacted about the videos, but has yet to respond or remove the livestreams.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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