YouTuber with 13 million subscribers hacked by crypto scammers; Here’s how much they stole
Popular YouTuber Scuba Jake has confirmed the hack on his channel, which has over 13 million subscribers. In the September 9 incident, crypto scammers took over the channel and tried to scam unsuspecting followers with fake Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Finbold’s analysis shows that the fraudsters received 1.01 BTC, which equates to about $21,000 in fake crypto gifts. The analysis was based on QR codes distributed by scammers that users can scan before sending cryptocurrencies.
According to Blockchain.com, the distributed Bitcoin wallet has recorded four transactions since its creation. The wallet received a total of 1.0107 BTC, the same amount that was also withdrawn.
It is worth noting that the loss may be higher because the scammers may have changed their wallet during the live stream. Elsewhere, Ethereum wallet analysis shows that no transaction has been made.
The scam mirrored other fraudulent cases on YouTube, where scammers use an old interview with someone well-known in crypto circles, repost it as a live broadcast, and promote a fake sweepstakes in the info section. It is claimed that scammers choose the live option because it offers more credibility.
How a scammer tricked Scuba Jake’s followers
Under the hack, the scammer changed Scuba Jake’s channel to “MicroStargey US” impersonating the crypto-friendly US corporate intelligence service MicroStrategy.
The scammers hosted at least two live old videos featuring outgoing MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin crusader Michael Saylor. In this case, scammers lured unsuspecting followers into sending cryptocurrency, thinking they would receive a reward from Saylor or a higher return.
Scammers targeted the treasure hunt channel, possibly due to its massive following, given that since its inception in 2011, it has garnered a total of over 1.7 billion views. The channel had been restored by press time, and Jake confirmed the same in an Instagram story on September 10.
Overall, incidents of fraudsters using YouTube have increased, affecting high-profile individuals and organizations. According to Finbold, the scammers also hacked a YouTube channel belonging to the South Korean government and shared a crypto video. However, the government managed to restore the account.
YouTube on site due to crypto scams
In the past, YouTube crypto scams have also targeted Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. In particular, several channels have been taken over by scammers posing as Musk and promising fake gifts.
The situation has led to Musk blasting YouTube for allegedly doing nothing to combat fraud in a tweet posted on June 7, 2022. Saylor also expressed frustration with YouTube’s failure to respond to the tweet.
Additionally, a study by anti-virus software company Kaspersky revealed that in addition to hijacking YouTube channels, scammers are increasingly roaming the comments section of videos to promote fake crypto services while offering low prices for certain currencies.
Bad Actors usually target the most trending videos and leave comments promoting a fake “breach” of the crypto market with attractive statistics.