Scammers are using deepfake videos of Elon Musk in an attempt to trick people into handing over cryptocurrency, BleepingComputer reports.
The scammers set up a phony cryptocurrency platform called “BitVex” that purports to be owned by Musk. The crooks then used hacked YouTube accounts to spread deepfaked videos of Musk and other people associated with cryptocurrency to promote the platform.
“To use the BitVex platform, users must register an account at bitvex[.]org or bitvex[.]net to access the investment platform,” BleepingComputer says.
“Once you log in, the site will display a dashboard where you can deposit various cryptocurrencies, select an investment plan, or withdraw your earnings. Like almost all cryptocurrency scams, the dashboard will display recent withdrawals of various cryptocurrencies to make the site appear legitimate.”
The deepfaked video in question:
Visually speaking, the deepfake is pretty convincing. However, the voice and script are unusual enough that observant users could recognize that something is wrong. Additionally, BleepingComputer points out that there are other indicators that this is a scam.
“While it is obvious that the interviews have been altered to simulate Elon Musk’s voice to promote the BitVex trading platform, numerous other clues show that this is a scam,” BleepingComputer says.
“Many YouTube channels promoting this trading platform have been hacked to suddenly show YouTube videos or YouTube Shorts that promote the BitVex trading site. For example, a YouTube channel that displayed gaming videos in Arabic suddenly began showing a series of YouTube Shorts that promoted the BitVex scam. In addition, BleepingComputer has found dozens of other YouTube channels hijacked similarly to promote this scam.”
As always, however, some people will fall for the scam, and the scammers have raked in at least $1,700 from this campaign so far.
New-school security awareness training can enable your employees to avoid falling for scams and other forms of social engineering.
By Stu Sjouwerman, CEO at KnowBe4.