VeChain is clearly going up in the crypto world, as it is the latest target of the classic fake livestream airdrop on YouTube. The livestream, promising to give away half a billion VET tokens, has 38,000 viewers at time of writing.
Double your money
It’s a time-honored scam, supposedly originating from the early days of the Runescape online video game. You give me one token, I give you two tokens back. Double your money. Simple. Except for the fact that you never get the two tokens back.
The YouTube version involves either hijacking or setting up a fake channel, and playing a rolling loop of some old conference footage alongside a QR code linking to a wallet address where you should send the funds.
Previous attacks this year have used the popularity and perceived legitimacy of targets such as Coinbase and SpaceX amongst many others, to extract Bitcoin from unsuspecting viewers.
With 38,000 viewers reportedly watching concurrently, VeChain seems to be doing quite well for itself. SpaceX has a much more recognizable brand and only racked up around 80,000 viewers for the duration of the scam.
Of course, the validity of these numbers cannot be 100% relied upon.
Actually, make that quintuple your money
With many of the more naive crypto users still smarting from this week’s mass hack of Twitter accounts in order to carry out the exact same scam, the scammers have had to up their game this time.
And up it they have. Rather than the usual “double your money” scam, Viewers who send VET tokens to the on-screen QR code are being promised five times their deposit, plus bonuses for those who send 100,000 VET or more (worth around $1,800).
There is also a website with the information to make the “giveaway” look more genuine, which is being regularly updated with data of supposed transactions in and out of the wallet.
Checking the wallet address on the VeChain explorer shows that just three people so far have actually sent funds at time of writing. Just over 320,000 VET have been deposited, and shockingly, no tokens have been returned.
This makes the scammers current haul a somewhat disappointing $5,800. Although even this should be considered too much.
Who are these people that keep letting greed overtake their common sense? And perhaps more pertinently, why does YouTube let these scams continue for so long when it regularly shuts down Cointelegraph live-streams for being “harmful content”?