$200k stolen in 12 hours, YouTube crypto giveaway scams are out of control
Today I counted no fewer than 14 individuals doing this (based on unique Ethereum and Bitcoin addresses, address reuse, unique videos, registrar info, and unique domains), stealing roughly $200k in the 12 hours that I surveyed the activity.
https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1MrT6yawgNUUuj142rozN69qTAh2Mog3WM (1.85 btc stolen, runner-up, .org btc scammer)
(the legendary .io scammer, domain: https://msnews.io/, stole .25 btc so far today)
https://etherscan.io/address/0x632E1E95Bb03c691C5A9c99Ff64614247754183E (today’s winner: $80k stolen, .org eth scammer)
It adds up to to at least $200k stolen in a 12-hour period.
Some are clearly more successful than others
Note this is just for 12 hours hours, and the videos are up constantly , so one can extrapolate that over a year these scammers stand to seal hundreds of millions of dollars just from YouTube alone, yet nothing is done about it. The videos not uncommonly stay up for 3,4,12+ hours at a time, playing the same clips on a loop and stealing crypto from unsuspecting victims until eventually the videos are deleted or the channel terminated. New videos from an endless supply of hacked channels replace the old ones, like an assembly line.
It’s very lucrative and the perfect crime because of how consistent the pay is, how much it pays, and the lack of any sort of consequence. This week some REvil members were
arrested in Russia. I bet they wish they done the giveaway scam instead, because they would not have only made more money but would have not been arrested either. This scam, unlike ransomware, runs under the radar, and makes more money too. It’s not uncommon to see people send 1+ BTC to the Michael Saylor scam...that alone is like a single ransomware payout, but no one goes to the authorities, not that they care anyway.
It’s a disgrace that YouTube refuses to do anything or do more. Twitter has come down hard on giveaway scams on its platform and there is much less there there was 3 months ago, but the problem has gotten worse for YouTube. It used to be maybe 4-5 unique individuals doing this, but now I counted 14, and the amounts stolen are huge. 3-5 eth may not seem like much, but that is $15,000, and over many addresses, videos, hours, etc. It adds up fast. . $500k/day is around $200/million a year, or about 2x the income from the Reevil gang.