Since its inception, the cryptocurrency industry has been hit multiple times by scam and fraud. Although several steps have been taken to prevent such issues on a large scale, every now and then a hacker manages to ruffle the feathers of the ecosystem. Bill Gates is impersonated in the latest Bitcoin YouTube ponzi scheme.
The latest scheme involved a hacker hijacking multiple YouTube accounts to broadcast a video of Bill Gates talking about a Ponzi cryptocurrency scheme. The analysis showed that the hacker had taken an excerpt from the previous speech and layered it with details of the Ponzi scheme.
This was not the first time that cryptocurrency hackers had used names of famous personalities for their own nefarious purposes. The recent hack was noticed when multiple YouTube channels bore the thumbnail photo of the Microsoft co-founder with the topic “Microsoft Bitcoin Investment News”. Apart from this, the hacker had changed the names of the channels to resemble Microsoft counterparts such as Microsoft US, Microsoft Europe and Microsoft News.
At the time of writing, both Microsoft and YouTube have categorically denied any sort of affiliation with the hacker with the latter taking down all the videos involved. Microsoft added that none of its verified accounts were hacked and no data was stolen. The hacker infiltrated almost 30 YouTube accounts and streamed an old video of Gates talking to an audience at Village Global back in June 2019.
Even though the scheme was cut short quickly, multiple users had fallen prey to it. By the time the videos were taken down, thousands of dollars had been sent to the scammer who made away with it. YouTube statistics showed that the video had tens of thousands of views. This went to show that a large number of people online were unaware of the dangers in the world of finance and crypto.
Users even reported parts of the streams on channels that were not recorded. The scam involved a typical ‘cryptocurrency giveaway’, a practice that became popular right after the Bitcoin bull run of 207. In this method, victims send a small sum of money to the hacker in the hopes of multiplying their assets. Once the perpetrator collects enough capital, the scheme is shut down and the investors lose a large sum of money.
In the latest Ponzi scheme, viewers were asked to send anywhere between a minimum amount of 0.1 and 20 BTC. The viewers were given the ‘Microsft assurance’ to guarantee that they will get their assets back. It becomes obvious that Microsoft name was used to lend the hacker some reasonable credibility and trust. The concept of crypto giveaway scams has become a dominant problem within the cryptocurrency industry.
Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple had pointed out a few weeks back that all those dabbling in crypto scams should stop as regulators were cracking down heavily. Garlinghouse also slammed the crypto heads who initiated an XRP giveaway to lure users into liquidating their assets. The XRP giveaway was first spotted by And_SQPR who had tweeted:
“@YouTube @bgarlinghouse @Ripple @JoelKatz someone has created a YT account as Brad Garlinghouse and is using this video to promote an xrp airdrop scam. @YouTube you need to shut this down #XRP #xrpthestandard #Ripple”
Giveaway cryptocurrency scams earlier dominated the Twitter space, but this was brought to a stop by efforts taken by individuals such as Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk. Chaos Computer Club, a popular German hacking community also had their channel hacked to display the same ‘Microsft Bitcoin’ scam messages.