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Scammers exploit a deepfake of Elon Musk to promote a cryptocurrency scam

Tesla CEO Elon Musk found himself at the center of yet another social media scam when a YouTube Live broadcast employed a deepfake of him, deceiving viewers in a scheme reported by Engadget.

Lasting five hours, the fraudulent broadcast focused on cryptocurrency, featuring an AI-generated replica of Musk’s voice. The impersonation urged viewers to deposit Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Dogecoin onto a specified website with promises of a doubled return.

This ploy quickly garnered attention, drawing over 30,000 viewers and ascending to the top of YouTube’s Live Now recommendations. Suspicions surfaced regarding potential artificial inflation of viewer numbers through bot manipulation.

The account responsible, @elon.teslastream, sported an Official Artist Channel verification badge, suggesting a possible compromise, according to NewsBytes. Upon Engadget’s alert, Google promptly removed both the video and the channel for engaging in fraudulent activity.

The incident underscores a growing trend of deepfake scams involving Musk, often perpetrated through accounts masquerading as his affiliated entities. This particular cryptocurrency scam echoes previous exploits, such as a recent misleading headline proclaiming a groundbreaking Tesla unveiling, and prior incidents where 35 fraudulent SpaceX accounts emerged during a Starship launch.

Moreover, similar deceptive tactics were observed during the Total Solar Eclipse hype and on platforms like Reddit, where fake Musk livestreams proliferated.

Such scams highlight a persistent threat targeting Musk’s vast follower base, indicative of broader trends wherein celebrities are increasingly exploited for cryptocurrency fraud.

As these schemes evolve, vigilance and swift action remain crucial in mitigating their impact and protecting online communities from exploitation.

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