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Elon Musk scammed crypto users on YouTube with deep fakes over the weekend

The now-deleted livestream asked viewers to deposit Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin on a fictitious website.

The stream, which at one point had more than 30,000 viewers, ran for five hours over the weekend and used semi-pixelated videos of Elon Musk. The video included a section where Musk appeared to be hosting a live stream during a Tesla event.

The video featured an AI-generated version of Elon Musk's voice and urged viewers to visit a website and deposit their cryptocurrency for a giveaway. The stream asked for donations in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE). The repeated message promised to “automatically refund double the amount of the cryptocurrency you deposited.”

The account “@elon.teslastream” posed as Tesla and had a verification badge next to its profile. Google removed both the video and the channel.

Musk scams

This incident follows a long line of crypto scams that have used deep fakes created by Elon Musk.

On April 8, YouTube was hit by a flood of fraudulent Space X giveaways disguised as live streams focusing on the April 8 solar eclipse.

Furthermore, on May 8, a month later, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC) warned the public about a fake crypto trading platform that uses AI-generated videos of Elon Musk to promote crypto trading services.

Over the past year, AI-generated videos have become a popular tool for crypto scammers. According to a recent report by Elliptic, AI can accelerate crypto scams, posing a significant threat not only to the credibility of AI but the entire crypto industry.

Engadget was the first to report on this live scam.