YouTube is facing fresh criticism for failure to moderate scammers. According to the BBC, a network of cyber-criminals has been streaming fake Elon Musk videos to scam viewers. The report is not alien to Kenyans and East Africans where a number of high-profile YouTube accounts have suffered a similar fate.
A few months ago, KahawaTungu reported that one of the biggest Kenyan YouTube Channels, Citizen TV, was hacked and taken over by scammers who started streaming videos promoting cryptocurrency. The BBC report corroborates the events, saying it had established that several YouTube accounts were being hacked and used for fake cryptocurrency giveaways.
Tanzanian Singer, Diamond Platnumz also faced a similar predicament last month after losing his account to hackers. The massive following of the hacked accounts means that the bogus cryptocurrency videos are watched by tens of thousands of users, making it easy for viewers to get scammed.
Tesla Boss Elon Musk’s name is commonly used by the scammers in their videos. Several viewers are duped into sending their cryptocurrency to criminals thinking they will win a prize from the billionaire. The videos are reportedly sourced from a cryptocurrency discussion panel Musk attended together with Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey
Musk recently weighed in on the issue, saying YouTube was doing little to tackle the scam ads. One of the ads which purports to belong to Tesla reportedly made over $98 million dollars in 2021 and has so far made at least $30 million this year.
The scammers reportedly hack popular YouTube channels and change their names and profiles to look like Musk’s electric manufacturing channel, Tesla.