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On YouTube, Tens of Thousands of People watched a Fraudulent Apple Cryptocurrency Scam

To be clear, Apple is not holding a cryptocurrency event.

Tens of thousands of viewers were tuning in when someone on YouTube started live streaming an old interview with Tim Cook that appeared to be being used to promote a cryptocurrency hoax.

Many telltale signs of what was going on would have been obvious if you’ve seen any YouTube videos about cryptocurrency frauds. The bogus live broadcast attracted attention by stuffing both the title and description with a variety of Apple keywords. However, when you actually opened it, it was stuffed with strange messages that directed you to a dubious-looking crypto site.

There were many indicators that the stream was fraudulent. The title was “Apple Event Live,” which seemed odd. Apple’s CEO Apple & Metaverse in 2022, says Tim Cook. — and it was displaying a previous interview with Cook that CNN conducted in 2018. The CNN Money logo was covered with the text “Apple Crypto Event 2022,” the Bitcoin and Ethereum logos were added to the video feed, and at the bottom strong lettering reading “URGENT NEWS” was added. Additionally, the URL didn’t have anything to do with Apple when you actually visited the channel’s page, which purported to be “Apple LIVE.” That might imply the channel had served a different purpose before being taken over by criminals and utilized to host the stream.

A request for comment from YouTube did not immediately receive a response. The feed was pulled shortly after this article was published because it broke YouTube’s terms of service.

Even though it was obvious that the fake live stream wasn’t from Apple, it took place at a time when the firm was receiving a lot of attention. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is currently being interviewed at Vox Media’s Code conference this evening. Apple broadcast its significant iPhone 14 announcement event hours ago. This deceptive stream appeared to be an effort to deceive users who might be aware that Apple is having a big day but may not be fully aware of what is happening.

This stream was recommended on my YouTube homepage, which may have been influenced in part by the fact that I had been viewing Apple broadcasts from the event all day. There were roughly 16K viewers when I first started watching the false broadcast, and there were almost 70K watchers just before this story was first published.

The Verge also discovered a live stream on another, equally shady channel that purported to be from “Apple Inc” [sic]. The webcast was actually a repurposed version of an interview with Musk and Block founder Jack Dorsey discussing Bitcoin that was supposed to be an event with Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk about Apple and the metaverse.

Its stream statistics surpassed 10,000 watchers, and in the discussion, a link to a shady-looking cryptocurrency website was included. It was also taken away.

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