The recent surge in cryptocurrency giveaway scams has raised concerns, particularly with the involvement of deepfake videos featuring influential figures like Michael Saylor, the Executive Chairman of MicroStrategy. These scams, utilizing AI-generated content, are prevalent on platforms such as YouTube and X, with notable personalities like Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse also becoming targets.
Michael Saylor wants traders to be vigilant of these scams
Michael Saylor recently issued a warning after discovering fraudulent deepfake videos circulating on YouTube, falsely portraying him and MicroStrategy engaging in a Bitcoin giveaway. In these videos, the deepfake Saylor encourages viewers to send him Bitcoin, promising to double the amount. Saylor responded to this deceptive tactic by cautioning his followers, emphasizing the absence of a “free lunch” in the cryptocurrency space. The misleading video not only promotes the fake giveaway.
They also make audacious claims, including predicting that the approval of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would drive the price of BTC to an astonishing $1 million. Those who click on the video link are directed to a scam website claiming to host the “biggest crypto giveaway,” boasting 1,000 BTC and 10,000 ETH up for grabs. The website employs urgency, urging immediate participation with limited spots available and no prerequisite crypto knowledge.
The rise of deceptive AI-generated scams in the industry
The deceptive website outlines the event, promising participants a share of 1,000 BTC and 10,000 ETH, emphasizing exclusivity with the statement, “You can only participate once!” The deepfake Saylor on the site encourages investors to scan a QR code, ostensibly leading to the giveaway. It is noteworthy that Michael Saylor recently disclosed plans to sell $216 million worth of MicroStrategy shares to bolster his Bitcoin holdings. While the exact amount of BTC he currently owns remains undisclosed, Saylor shared in October 2020 that he possesses 17,732 BTC.
Meanwhile, MicroStrategy, the software intelligence firm under Saylor’s leadership, publicly reported holdings of 189,150 bitcoins as of December 2023. The prevalence of deepfake scams targeting cryptocurrency enthusiasts underscores a growing trend in the misuse of AI-generated content. These scams exploit the trust and credibility associated with influential figures in the cryptocurrency industry to deceive unsuspecting individuals. Investors are urged to exercise caution and skepticism when confronted with sensational claims or promises of free cryptocurrency.
The saying “there is no such thing as a free lunch” resonates particularly in the volatile and often deceptive realm of cryptocurrencies. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of verifying information, especially in an environment where misinformation and fraudulent schemes abound. As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, so does the creativity of scammers seeking to exploit the enthusiasm surrounding these digital assets. The rise of deepfake scams targeting cryptocurrency investors, featuring influential figures like Michael Saylor, highlights the need for increased awareness and vigilance within the community.