On Monday, it appeared that Bill Gates was ‘promoting’ a widely renowned crypto scam on several YouTube live streaming videos that seemed to be published on Microsoft’s official channels.
Hackers Hijack YouTube Accounts, Rename to Microsoft Brands
ZDNet reported yesterday that a hacker had taken control over dozens of YouTube accounts, renamed them to reflect Microsoft brands, and promoted a Ponzi scam. The problem was that the hijacked accounts had tens of thousands of users. The broadcasting videos displayed Microsoft former CEO Bill Gates, who was apparently endorsing a cryptocurrency scam. However, this was not the case.
The tech news site said that hackers might have broken into more than 30 YouTube profiles. The video streaming showed an old Bill Gates speech which the billionaire delivered last year at Village Global, which was manipulated to create the impression that Bill Gates was promoting the scam, when in fact he wasn’t.
YouTube users could see an image of the philanthropist attached to the crypto scam on accounts with names like Microsoft Europe, Microsoft US, Microsoft News, and others. However, both Microsoft and YouTube denied that any of the company’s genuine official accounts had been touched by hackers.
Nevertheless, users reported that the scam videos showed up on non-verified Microsoft accounts. The majority of streams aired on channels with many subscribers. The only explanation is that hackers hijacked multiple accounts and renamed them by introducing various Microsoft brands.
Some of the Bitcoin addresses showed in the video streams had already received thousands of US dollars. This proves that many viewers were fooled by the scam.
Similar Crypto Scam Uses the Image of CZ Binance
We also spotted a video of that series today, though it had only several dozens of views. The channel has over 1,000 subscribers. The video shows an old Bill Gates interview, but there is also a link on the screen.
Following the link, it leads to a Medium article that was allegedly posted by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). Again, this is another classic crypto scam designed to steal funds from unsuspecting victims.
Scams like this promote a crypto giveaway in which people have to send a small sum of cryptocurrency in order to double or triple their earnings. Obviously, they get nothing in return.
Last week, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse demanded YouTube should crack down on scammers using his name and image to broadcast an XRP-based scam.
Have you encountered scams like these on YouTube? Share your experience in the comments section!
Images via Shutterstock, Medium, YouTube