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YouTube Flooded with Over 35 Deepfake Videos of Elon Musk & Fake SpaceX Crypto Giveaways During SpaceX Launch

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 2 min read
SpaceX Launch

On June 6, a cybersecurity report revealed that over 35 YouTube channels live-streamed a deepfake video of Elon Musk, promising to double crypto deposits. The scammers targeted space enthusiasts eager to watch the SpaceX starship rocket launch.

SpaceX Launch DeepFakes Highlight Growing Cyber Threat

Cybersecurity experts from Avast Threat Labs revealed on X that scammers hijacked over 35 YouTube pages.

Investigators found that one of the dubious YouTube channels that mimicked the live-streamed SpaceX launch had 2.9 million subscribers but lacked a verification check mark. This was in contrast with the real SpaceX YouTube channel, which boasts 6.65 million subscribers and a verified check mark.

These fake SpaceX livestreams featured wide-angle shots of Musk speaking at an outdoor event, with some of the footage blurred to make them seem authentic.

However, the AI-generated Elon Musk voice sounded convincing with phrases like “You have a chance to see your crypto propel exponentially as our rocket propels toward the stars” were said.

Mimicked vocal patterns of Musk, such as stutters, pauses, and words like “Umm” were also used at human-like intervals.

The video went on to explain the benefits of investing in Bitcoin and the potential profits available to savvy investors. Thereafter, the deepfake video directed viewers to scan a QR code and send cryptocurrencies to an address controlled by the thieves. The QR code remained on the screen for the entirety of the livestream.

During the fake SpaceX crypto giveaway, viewers were told they would receive double on every crypto deposit.

The AI-generated Elon Musk voice stated,

“This is not a fake, this is a real giveaway. I personally guarantee it to you.”

Some SpaceX enthusiasts fell for the scam. Nevertheless, the number of victims and the amount of funds collected in the fake SpaceX crypto giveaway remain unknown.

YouTube has restricted all compromised pages as they violated the platform’s terms of service.

Musk Crypto Giveaway Scam Promises Rewards For Participation

This is not the first time Elon Musk will be targeted by bad actors who use his image to scam unsuspecting crypto users.

In October 2023, an Elon Musk crypto scam deepfake promised 30% returns on deposits as users were encouraged to invest in the BitVex trading platform.

Also, on May 13, 2024, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission issued a warning against a crypto exchange using Elon Musk’s deepfake to promote him as the lead developer. Quantum AI allegedly used Musk’s deepfake videos of Musk to deceive people into believing he is the brain behind the platform.