When it comes to crypto scams, forget about romance, the dark web, or even fraudulent trading platforms. According to a new report, YouTube is the go-to tool for those looking to orchestrate digital currency schemes and steal money from unsuspecting victims. YouTube Is Becoming a Haven for Crypto Fraud The report comes by way of […]
When it comes to crypto scams, forget about romance, the dark web, or even fraudulent trading platforms. According to a new report, YouTube is the go-to tool for those looking to orchestrate digital currency schemes and steal money from unsuspecting victims.
YouTube Is Becoming a Haven for Crypto Fraud
The report comes by way of With Secure Inc., a digital security firm that has been monitoring the growing network of crypto fraud schemes via video platforms like YouTube. The big problem at hand is that many of the videos from these fraudulent platforms appear legitimate at first. They all seem to have been engaged with given the high numbers of likes and comments they appear to receive. However, it’s estimated that these are all fake and designed to make the videos look even more real.
In all, these videos are likely to be operated under the same scam network, which With Secure believes consists of about 30 people at the time of writing. Many of them use applications like Telegram to communicate and/or run their operations.
In a statement, With Secure intelligence researcher Andy Patel mentioned:
This network seems to be targeting existing cryptocurrency investors with low-quality videos in different languages without localizing them to reach different regions, so I’d say it’s a pretty opportunistic approach. Typically, this results in a large volume of small transactions, but as that volume increases, so do the odds of them getting lucky and finding someone able and willing to invest more substantial amounts.
It is suggested that the group in question has copied and pasted comments from other YouTube videos onto their own so that they appear more real. All these videos recommend fraud-based applications and other thief-controlled platforms to garner funds from people who don’t realize they’re being conned. Many of these schemes are centered around the digital currency Tether, which is a popular stable coin.
The good news is that the scams don’t appear to be making a ton of money at the time of writing, though Patel mentioned they’re very slick in how they make themselves look to others. He said:
I do not believe these particular scams are very profitable. However, they’ve clearly figured out how to game YouTube’s recommendation algorithms by using a straightforward approach. Moderating social media content is a huge challenge for platforms, but the successful amplification of this content using simple, well-known techniques makes me think that more could be done to protect people from these scams.
Stealing More Money
Once someone is suckered in by one of the videos, they’re asked to transfer money from their own crypto wallets to a separate platform, one that’s quite obviously by cybercriminals.
Between 2021 and 2022, more than $1 billion in crypto was lost to social media scams.
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