Get rich quick scheme uses deepfake technology to impersonate Elon Musk

Scammers are taking advantage of new deepfake technology to create videos so convincing that people will hand over their money. This latest con looks like business magnate Elon Musk endorsing an investment plan, but the video is fake, and the investment is a scam.

How the scam works

You come across a video of Elon Musk while scrolling through social media. Or perhaps a trusted friend sent you the video. In it, Elon Musk talks about ways to invest in cryptocurrency and how you can make a large amount of money in no time. This sounds like a get-rich-quick scheme, but the video looks so real! Musk is a famous business leader, so his advice must be credible, right?  

Think again! The video is a fake. Scammers used deepfake technology to create it from existing footage of Musk. If you follow the links and “invest,” you’ll lose everything.  

One consumer who lost all of his Bitcoin to this scam described the video he saw: “The spoofed video is an apparent live feed with many viewers and likes, and looks like a legit web broadcast… During the video, there are constant references by the participants to coin giveaways. It makes you believe that it is very real and a limited-time offer.”

Also, watch out for more scams using similar deepfake videos. One victim reported to BBB Scam Tracker a similar scam targeting Canadians. In this video, Musk offered “poor families a chance to become rich in a few months” by instantly turning an initial $250 CAD deposit into $6,000 CAD.

How to spot viral video scams

  • Understand how deepfake technology works. Deepfake technology takes video clips and photos of a person and uses the imagery to create new videos and audio clips. See this BBB article for tips on spotting deepfakes.
  • Know that celebrities are often impersonated. Politicians, actors, business leaders, and other celebrities are often “recreated” in deepfakes. That’s because plenty of public video clips and photos of them are available. Don’t assume a…


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