Coronavirus Has More People At Home, Online, And Targeted By Crypto Scammers...

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Coronavirus Crypto
The coronavirus situation has more people at home, meaning more targets for scammers.

You know how it goes, if you're in crypto circles on Twitter there's no way you haven't seen it dozens of times before - "Send in $100 worth of <whatever coin> and recieve 10X that amount back!" coming from accounts that look like those of CoinBase, Vitalik, CZ, even Elon Musk famously had to speak up because so many scammers pretended to be him doing an ETH giveaway.

Sadly, when we covered the story of Elon Musk we discovered the scammers wallet address had a shocking  $179,284 worth of ETH sitting in it.

Just out of curiosity, within the last 3 months I checked the wallet addresses given out by scammers on Twitter a couple times - both were empty, it seems Twitter was drying up for scammers.  They needed something new, and it seems they found it.

Old scam finds new victims at YouTube...

YouTube gives live streams priority on search results, so there's a good chance you'll see these scams running right now by searching for bitcoin, cryptocurrency, etc. This also sends newbies searching for videos to learn more about crypto right into scammers hands.

Here they’re able to add one extra twist that makes things a bit more believable - when you click on the live stream you'll see a real (old, recorded) interview with a well known crypto personality, and text on the screen makes victims think they just missed the announcement of a giveway.

Here's some streams that were live at the time of writing this: 

Featuring Binance CEO, CZ
crypto scam on youtube with Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin streaming from a fake Ethereum Foundation account.

Crypto scam with Ripple's CEO Bradley Garlinghouse
Ripple's CEO Brad Garlinghouse
Fake Satoshi... fake giveaway.

There's a good chance they're using bots to inflate the numbers, but seeing 1000-10,000 people 'watching now' adds even another layer of believeability.

What can we do about it?

Typically, articles like this need to end with some rambling where I tell people to 'be smart' and to verify things before they do it, etc. 

But let's be honest here, the scam makes no sense from the start, no matter how flashy the packaging. It's not like they're saying it's a lotto and they need to send money to get their ticket for a chance to win - they say everyone who sends money will get more money back. If everyone gets free money there's no logical reason why that requires anyone sending anything.

The people falling for this are the kind who have to learn the hard way.  The only advice I can give is to warn any friends who fit this description.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk

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