Elon Musk Crypto Scams Circulating via YouTube & Text Message

    Elon Musk Crypto Scams Circulating via YouTube & Text Message

    Impersonating Elon Musk is nothing new to scammers. They regularly use his name to trick people into parting with their hard-earned money — or as in these most recent cases, their hard-earned crypto.

    Keep on reading to learn about two hot Elon Musk-related crypto scams that you need to be aware of!

    #1 — Elon Musk YouTube Shorts Scams

    Launched in July 2021, YouTube Shorts is YouTube’s short-form video sharing platform. Lately, scammers have been abusing the platform by advertising fake crypto websites and pretending that they are endorsed by Elon Musk.

    Elon Musk_YouTube Search Results_20220528
    Scammers are flooding YouTube Shorts with Elon Musk-related scams
    Elon Musk_crypto scams_20220528
    Two of the short scam videos

    The scam videos contain shots of Elon Musk talking at various unrelated conferences alongside links to scam websites (blurred in the images above). Elon Musk does not endorse any of these websites in any way — the scammers are just hoping to deceive would-be victims.

    After visiting any of the malicious links in the videos, potential victims are taken to one of two crypto scam websites:


    Elon Musk_Fake Crypto Sites_1_20220528

    BitVex[.]org is a fake crypto investment platform claiming to use artificial intelligence to help people make prudent investment decisions. While this sounds superb, unfortunately, the site is 100% a scam!


    Elon Musk_Fake Crypto Sites_2_20220528

    ElonMusk2022[.]net is a fake crypto giveaway website. Essentially, the website encourages people to send their cryptocurrency to either a Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet, with the promise that what they send, plus extra, will be returned to them in a sort of “giveaway” scheme.

    Of course, this site is a complete scam and anyone who sends the scammers their crypto will never see it again, never mind any extra!

    #2 — Elon Musk Text Message Scams

    The scammers have also been looking to attract victims to their scam websites through text messages. Here are two examples of the scam text messages they’ve been sending out:

    • the biggest crypto event ever – {URL}
    • elon musk biggest crypto event ever – {URL}

    The links in the above messages lead to the website Ethtoken[.]info:

    Elon Musk_Fake Crypto Sites_3_20220528

    It is similar to ElonMusk2022[.]net in advertised (but untrue) functionality, except that it features the image of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin instead.

    Although the site looks quite professional and it may be tempting to instantly increase the amount of crypto you own, stay well away because it’s yet another scam!

    #3 — Elon Musk Deepfake Instagram Scam

    Deepfakes are synthetic media created by AI technology. The technology can be used to swap a person in an existing photo or video with someone else’s likeness. In many people’s opinion, deepfake technology and how it can create such realistic-looking fake media presents a very worrying problem.

    Unfortunately, scammers have recently been leveraging deepfake technology as part of their Elon Musk-related crypto scam campaigns.

    Elon Musk_Update_Instagram Bitcoin Giveaway Scam
    An Elon Musk deepfake video. Source

    Scammers created a deepfake video appearing to show Elon Musk introducing himself and talking about a crypto giveaway that “his team” is running. Although when scrutinized, it is clear that Elon’s lips don’t quite match up with his words, at first glance the fake video is passably convincing.

    The video was uploaded to Instagram, where it was promoted as a sponsored post. Victims who are deceived by the video and swipe up to learn more will be asked to transfer their cryptocurrency with the fake promise that double will be returned to them. Once again, this is 100% a scam.

    Tips for avoiding fake crypto websites

    • Be skeptical — if it seems too good to be true, it is.
    • Watch out for anything crypto-related bearing the image of Elon Musk — scammers love pretending he is a supporter of their scams!
    • Don’t click on links in messages sent to you by unknown numbers.
    • Use Trend Micro Check to easily detect crypto scam websites in real time.

    Trend Micro Check is a completely free app and browser extension for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links. Available for Android, iOS, Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. Click the button below to download for FREE!

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    • By Bosko Mistrelovic | November 16, 2022