Elon Musk deep fakes scammed crypto users on YouTube over the weekend

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The now-deleted livestream directed viewers to deposit Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin at a fictitious website.

The stream, which at one point had more than 30,000 viewers, ran for five hours over the weekend and utilized semi-pixelated videos of Elon Musk. In the video, there was a segment featuring Musk appearing to host a live stream during a Tesla event. 

The video featured an AI-generated version of Elon Musk’s voice, encouraging viewers to visit a website and deposit their crypto for a giveaway. The stream encourage donations in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE). The repeated message promised to ‘automatically return double the amount of the cryptocurrency you deposited.’

The “@elon.teslastream” account posed as Tesla and had a verification badge next to its profile. Google removed both the video and the channel.

Musk scams 

This incident follows a long line of crypto scams that have utilized deep fakes of Elon Musk. 

On April 8, there was a surge of fraudulent Space X giveaway scams on YouTube, disguised as live streams focused on the April 8 solar eclipse.

Also, on May 8, a month later, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC) warned the public about a fake crypto exchange platform using AI-generated videos of Elon Musk to promote crypto trading services.

Over the last year, AI-generated videos have become an easy tool for crypto scammers. According to a recent Elliptic report, AI can speed up crypto scams, posing a substantial threat to the credibility of not only AI but the crypto industry as a whole. 

Engadget was the first to report this live scam. 

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