Experts have uncovered a new cryptocurrency scam making the rounds using a deepfake video of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Threat actors have created a fake cryptocurrency exchange platform called BitVex that claims investors can get up to 30% returns on their crypto deposits when, in fact, all they do is steal the money that gets deposited.
At press time, the site was still up and running, at bitvex[.]org. Explaining what makes this “exchange” different, the site says: “We provide you with the most profitable and reliable trading contracts, making daily payments on all contracts in cryptocurrency. Start trading cryptocurrencies and stablecoins today and get your first payout tomorrow.”
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It also showcases testimonials from the likes of CZ (Binance founder and CEO), and Cathie Wood (founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest). Elon Musk was listed as CEO. To make the scam more convincing, the site also lists “profits” generated by the exchange’s “users”.
It is also being promoted with a deepfake video of Elon Musk, in which the eccentric billionaire and entrepreneur is seen discussing the business. The video does very little to add to the legitimacy of the whole ordeal, as the production of the multimedia is comically bad.
Still, the fraudsters have shared it via YouTube, meaning it can break into other people’s channels to distribute it in more places, with an Arabic gaming video channel already found to have been hijacked to promote the scam.
Proving that every job requires a bit of talent, scamming included, is the fact that the campaign brought in minimal earnings for the fraudsters. Taking a deeper look, BleepingComputer found a number of wallet addresses that the “exchange” uses, and with the exception of the Bitcoin address which, at press time, holds no more than $1.4k in the cryptocurrency, the have been no payments made.
Cryptocurrency investors are advised not to keep their coins on an exchange, but rather move them to a non-custodial wallet. Their accounts should be protected by strong passwords, and security keys, while their devices should be kept up to date, behind firewalls, and with a strong antivirus solution installed.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.