YouTube is being criticised for failing to tackle a network of cyber-criminals streaming fake Elon Musk videos to scam viewers.
The criminals are hijacking YouTube accounts and using the videos to promote bogus cryptocurrency giveaways.
BBC News found dozens of these streams being watched by tens of thousands of people over four days this month.
On Tuesday, Elon Musk said YouTube was not tackling “scam ads”. YouTube says it removes channels that are reported.
For many months, the streams have been fooling thousands of people into sending cryptocurrency to criminals, thinking they will receive a prize from Mr Musk.
One of the most common links to website https://elon-x2.live/, which invites people to double their money by sending Bitcoin or Ethereum to the digital-wallet addresses advertised.
Wallet transaction history shows the scammers made $243,000 (£194,000) in just over a week:
- 23 transfers of bitcoin totalling 7.68923261 coins worth $234,000
- 18 transfers of ethereum totalling 5.016 coins worth $9,000
Analysts at Whale Alert say giveaway scammer wallets they track show profits of:
- $98m in 2021
- $30m so far this year
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