A popular YouTube channel has been hijacked and is currently live-streaming a purported ask-me-anything (AMA) with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.
However, the stream, which appears to have been running for 12 hours at press time on April 6, is a scam, encouraging users to send Bitcoin (BTC) payments, with the promise of a non-existent 5,000 BTC giveaway.
Classic crypto scam gets a fresh coat of paint
The YouTube scam follows a similar format to the well-known Twitter con, whereby a spoof account will be set up to mimic a well-known crypto or celebrity figure. Said figure has a large amount of Bitcoin or Ether (ETH) to give away, and by sending some of your own cryptocurrency to a given address, victims are promised between two and ten times the amount in return.
On this occasion, somebody has managed to hack into an already established YouTube channel, TopTenz, which boasts 1.63 million subscribers. The channel has been rebranded as "CoinbasePRO English."
The channel has been live-streaming the AMA using old, looped footage of Brian Armstrong answering viewers’ questions.
The stream also has a Bitcoin address and QR code, promising that any Bitcoin sent will immediately have double the amount returned. Of course, sending Bitcoin to this address will result in nothing more than losing your coins.
Over $50,000 stolen… and counting
According to the Blockchain block explorer, only one transaction, with a value of 0.44 BTC has been sent to the address currently being promoted through the "giveaway." The address has only been live for 2 hours, while the two previous addresses advertised received 2.548 BTC and 4.209 BTC respectively.
This makes a total of almost 7.2 BTC stolen so far — with a value of over $51,200 at press time.
Perhaps a more pertinent question than how much the scam has gained would be, “How can this still be happening live after 11 hours?”
YouTube, Coinbase, and the TopTenz YouTube did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph's requests for comment. This article will be updated should they respond.