Scammers on social media are expanding their efforts to steal Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency. After months of trying to swindle users on Twitter by impersonating celebrities such as tech mogul Elon Musk, they’ve turned their attention to YouTube, targeting unsuspecting viewers.
On Sunday, cyber thieves launched a fake “crypto giveaway” livestream on a channel dubbed “Microsoft Europe”, airing an old interview with the company’s co-founder Bill Gates.
Text on the left-hand side of the video claimed the tech giant was handing out Bitcoin, but in order to receive the free crypto, participants had to first send their own BTC to a particular address. The scammers promised to send 0.2 to 40 BTC back as a reward.
There are over 30,000 subscribers to the scammers’ channel, with more than that number tuning into the livestream at its peak.
Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and stepped down from its board on March 13th after 34 years, is a well-known Bitcoin critic. In 2018, the tech billionaire said he wished he could short BTC, calling it a “greater fool” type of investment.
Bitcoin isn’t the only coin that crypto criminals are targeting on YouTube. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently blasted scammers for running a similar YouTube scheme in an attempt to steal XRP.