Over the years, anyone dealing with cryptocurrencies has become a known fact that fraud is spreading. However, The more beginners come onto the market, the more scammers improve their tactics to take advantage of unsuspecting Bitcoin enthusiasts with fake Bitcoin gifts and other sophisticated schemes.
Recently, A new group of scammers has emerged with even more sophisticated and aggressive tactics. As most reports show, fraudsters use popular social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter to track their victims. For example, On July 13, Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson warned of a YouTube account promoting false Cardano gifts (ADA).
More recently A significant attack on high-profile Twitter accounts has exposed the security risks of the main social media platforms. As Cointelegraph reported, thousands of people may have been cheated and lost their bitcoins after several prominent and verified Twitter accounts were hacked to promote a fake Bitcoin gift. L.Fraudsters reached around 350 million people and took over $ 110,000 in a matter of hours.
In almost all of a celebrity’s Twitter accounts, The audience was encouraged to send $ 1,000 in Bitcoin to a specific address to receive $ 2,000 as a gift.
YouTube is caught
In addition to Twitter, YouTube has also proven to be one of the most popular tools used by fraudsters. According to a report released on July 10 by Whale Alert, a fraud project that ran in June 2020, more than $ 120,000 was needed in one day to attract unsuspecting victims through a one-page website and YouTube advertising.
Cardano CEO Charles Hoskinson warned of fraud promoting YouTube for fake Cardano gifts. In a tweet, Cardano’s founder said that “A scam was floating around and using my lecture speech to advertise a gift“and added:”This is a scam. Please report it to YouTube. We will take legal action if we can take action against those responsibleEven though YouTube deleted the video, Hoskinson tweeted again that there are still YouTube ads promoting the attempted fraud.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple It was also targeted by imitators who hacked YouTube channels and renamed them “XRP Giveaways”.Reach millions of XRP owners without knowing it. In response, Ripple has filed a lawsuit against YouTube for allegedly benefiting from the fraudsters’ actions while also allowing them to stop them.
In another YouTube fraud case, several victims were lured into pyramid fraud in early June. after being promised a possible return of 200% of their Bitcoin donation to a YouTube account called “SpaceX”.
According to reports The fraudster got away with 15.3 BTC. Bleeping Computer reports that fraudsters hack existing YouTube channels, rename the channel SpaceX, and publish archived images of Elon Musk (or another public figure) to give the impression that Musk’s archived speeches are live.
While SpaceX’s legitimate channel has more than 4 million subscribers, two of the fraudulent channels have had 130,000 subscribers and 230,000 subscribers, giving viewers the appearance of a legitimate number of followers. Each of SpaceX’s fake channels asked viewers to send Bitcoin to a specific address.
To make the fake YouTube live streams accessible to a wider audience, the scammers used bots to increase the number of viewers in the live streams. This impresses the YouTube algorithm of a viral video.
With a combination of social engineering tricks and an increased audience with bots Fraudsters have managed to get their videos to the top of YouTube search, especially for keywords related to celebrities like Jack Ma and Elon Musk. Although YouTube has since responded by removing the hacked channels that promote fraud, there are still such scam videos on the platform.
Whale Alert reports that fraudsters who offer fake gifts find it easy to use celebrity identities to target large audiences using tools like YouTube advertising. Scam Alert, a partner of Whale Alert, has reported that the team has reported since the beginning of the year that more than $ 20 million has been stolen from Bitcoin.
The fraud market continues to develop
Fraudsters have been reported to use increasingly aggressive tactics in the form of fake companies with dozens of fake websites and social media accounts to promote their programs. Dominik Scheiner, co-founder of the IOTA Foundation, told Cointelegraph: “These cryptocurrency social media scams have become much more sophisticated and aggressive in recent months. The fact that they are continuing clearly shows that these scams are working“”
True to Schiener’s concerns, Whale Alert reports that celebrity fake gift scams involving celebrities like Elon Musk and popular exchanges can cost up to $ 300,000.. As fraudsters increasingly change their methods with professional equipment to improve the quality of their attacks, experts warn that it is only a matter of time before deep fake techniques enter the fraud market.
Last year, Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked when Twitter said the bug had been fixed. However, the recent attack shows that the platform still has many vulnerabilities. Schiener believes that Twitter and YouTube are attractive tools for fraudsters, due to their popularity:
“A comment on a popular tweet or YouTube video can be seen by thousands of people, which makes the scams a success. In addition, almost all social media platforms lack better moderation policies and tools these days.”
According to Schiener, popular social media platforms cannot remove fake or malicious content unless these platforms implement “As the best tools for moderating content, these scams will only increase and evolve“”
With the upcoming US presidential elections, all major social media platforms require stricter security measures than ever before. Schiener mentioned that the recent fraud attack showed that digital identities with verifiable credentials based on a distributed chain are a real struggle. With a DLT verification and identity system, Schiener explains that it is impossible to “pretend to be someone else or to falsify a credential” because the data is immutable and verifiable with KYC systems.
The concept of self-confident identity and verification systems is intended to give the user control over his information. Self-Sovereign Identity offers a solution for standard identity verification systems that bundle user information on central servers and create massive security gaps.
However, Placing self-confident verification and identity systems in a DLT avoids centralized, external control and control by third parties, which reduces the risk of widespread data breaches.
Despite optimism about the transformation potential of DLT-based identity verification systems, lExperts predict that by 2023, less than 10% of applications will launch DLT solutions. Although solutions already exist and the sector will grow by 35% annually, adoption remains slow.
One of the immediate solutions that social media platforms such as YouTube can currently adopt is to train their users on the security risks of the platforms. Also, YouTube can continuously monitor your platform’s accounts to identify and stop suspicious activity.
Fraud that increasingly reveals private investors
The recent YouTube hacking attack It has obviously undermined its users’ confidence in the security of the platform.
Beyond the loss of trust, however, YouTube is likely to have legal consequences, since the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) prescribes a first-class level of security for companies of their caliber. In the past, Other social networking sites such as Facebook have also been selected to improve their security and community management tools.
YouTube is already facing a lawsuit from Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, and the company’s lawyers for failing to stop fraudsters and imitators while they benefit from ads that promote fraud.
So far, YouTube has replied that it is not responsible for cryptocurrency fraud committed by third parties.
As the crypto fraud market grows, The impact on people’s lives is becoming increasingly important. For most lovers of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology Fraud was her first introduction to the industry, as the unregulated nature of the sector leaves room for fraudsters to get out of control.
Schiener suspects that the pandemic may have something to do with the growth of cybercrime as a whole, as shutdowns have left many people unemployed worldwide. Explain it: “This meant that they were working in less secure work environments and generally had to spend more time online. This gave fraudsters an obvious opportunity to step up their efforts.“”
In addition, Schiener believes that the rise in cryptocurrency fraud could also be a signal for an increase in retail investors joining the cryptosphere. Add, “Since many of these new investors are more newbies, it’s much easier to get them to publicize themselves or create more sophisticated phishing plans.“”