YouTuber With 13M Subscribers Hacked By Crypto Scammers; This is how much they stole

Popular YouTuber scuba diving confirmed his channel was hacked with over 13 million subscribers and 1.75 billion views since the channel was founded in 2011. The September 9 incident saw crypto scammers take over the channel and attempt to defraud unsuspecting subscribers in a bogus giveaway involving Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

An analysis by Finbold indicates that the scammers earned 1.01 BTC, which equates to around $21,000 in the fake crypto giveaway. The analysis was based on the QR codes shared by the scammers for users to scan before sending the cryptocurrencies.

According, the shared bitcoin wallet has recorded four transactions since its inception. The wallet received a total of 1.0107 BTC, the same amount which was also cashed out.

Analysis of the Bitcoin wallet of scammers. Source:

It should be noted that the amount lost could be higher because the scammers might have changed the wallets during the live stream. Elsewhere, analysis of the Ethereum wallet indicates that no transactions were made.

The scam mirrored other fraudulent incidents on YouTube where scammers use an old interview involving a famous person in crypto circles, repost it live, and promote the fake giveaway in the news section. It is claimed that scammers opt for the live option as it offers more credibility.

How the scammer defrauded Scuba Jake subscribers

Under the hack, the scammer changed Scuba Jake’s channel to “MicroStargey US”, posing as US business intelligence firm MicroStrategy.

Notably, the scammers hosted at least two live streams of an old video involving outgoing MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin crusader Michael Saylor. In this case, the scammers lured unsuspecting subscribers into sending cryptocurrency, thinking they would receive a price from Saylor or higher returns.

A screen of the hacked Scuba Jake account. Source: YouTube

Scammers have targeted the scavenger hunt channel, possibly due to the huge viewership, given that since its inception in 2011, it has amassed over 1.7 billion cumulative views. The channel had been restored at press time, with Jake confirming the same via an Instagram Story on September 10.

Scuba Jake confirms YouTube channel hack. Source: Instagram

Overall, cases of scammers using YouTube have increased, affecting high-profile individuals and organizations. As reported by Finbold, scammers also hacked into the South Korean government-owned YouTube channel and shared a crypto video. However, the government managed to restore the account.

YouTube on the spot against crypto scams

Previously, crypto scams on YouTube also targeted Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. In particular, scammers have taken over various channels posing as Musk while promising bogus giveaways.

The situation led Musk to slam YouTube for allegedly doing nothing in the fight against fraud in a tweet posted on June 7, 2022. Saylor also expressed frustration with YouTube’s inability to act with a response to the tweet. .

Additionally, research by anti-virus software company Kaspersky found that in addition to hijacking YouTube channels, scammers are increasingly prowling the comments section below videos to promote fake crypto services while offering low prices for certain currencies.

Notably, bad actors usually target the most trending videos and leave comments promoting a fake “breach” in the crypto market with enticing statistics.

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