In a joint effort, SpaceX and BitOK have revealed a fraudulent crypto giveaway orchestrated by scammers impersonating Elon Musk, who managed to raise $165,000 in donations.
The scheme was said to involve a deepfake version of Elon Musk in live YouTube streams, which have since been removed.
According to the report, users were offered access to a website via the QR code featured in the YouTube broadcast.
The page stated that individuals participating in the giveaway should transmit cryptocurrency to specified contribution addresses and await transaction processing. Afterward, they are assured a crypto reimbursement to their wallets and a 200% bonus.
This was followed by fake giveaway broadcasts from SpaceX on YouTube, a channel that garnered 180,000 subscribers.
The BTC address utilized by the individuals responsible for receiving donations was later found to be bc1qc4rwqqf0q75rn032knwkvxtrdm4vurkusr8s4k.
Here, a total of 2.48 BTC, equivalent to approximately $91,566 at the current exchange rate, was collected. Subsequently, all funds were transferred to the address bc1q6yjkfe0edtyn4luwskx30gg35r7eclllfsp3jg.
From the address bc1q6…sp3jg, a segment of the funds, 1.25 BTC, was dispatched to the deposit address of the KuCoin exchange 3NcPowGtnnUxsgFSeCUoiaXW2MtcHUjXF4.
Simultaneously, the remaining balance was sent to the change address bc1qwyrv7wkuqh79gk9uu9zjhc2sutyw80ksk4qjug, and subsequently rerouted to the deposit address of the KuCoin exchange 3NcPowGtnnUxsgFSeCUoiaXW2MtcHUjXF4.
Crypto Scams In 2023
This exposed scam marks just one more in a chain of fraudulent activity.
The blockchain analysis firm CertiK reported that over $32.2 million was lost to crypto scams and security incidents in October, with vulnerabilities, exit scams, and flash loan manipulations deemed leading causes.
In November, the total amount stolen during hacks mounted to $290 million.