Apple Event SeptemberSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • A fake iPhone 13 event on YouTube has scammed viewers out of thousands of dollars in bitcoin.
  • A live stream posed as Apple during the event, promising viewers free bitcoin as part of a giveaway.
  • The scam secured $69k in bitcoin from unsuspecting viewers.

A fake live iPhone 13 event broadcast on YouTube during Apple's real event last week has conned users out of $69k in bitcoin.

Zscaler reports:

We often see scammers luring victims by taking advantage of hype related to events or game launches. We observed a similar tactic during the iPhone 13 launch event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was an online launch event and was broadcasted live on the official Apple Youtube channel. But, there were few Youtube channels that were claiming to stream this event live. While observing one such channel, we saw promotional news with the following title:

"Special Event for you taking place NOW: www.2021apple.org"

According to the report, a fake channel set up to look like an official Apple live stream garnered some 16k viewers. Links to a website offered users the chance to win as part of a cryptocurrency giveaway of 1,000 bitcoin, the website was even tailored to look like Apple's official website. As is always the case, the scam involved asking users to send bitcoin to a wallet address in the promise that it would be doubled and returned to them. Of course, no bitcoin was ever returned, and the account reportedly netted 1.48299884 bitcoin as a result of the ruse, worth about $69k.

The scam is similar to a previous YouTube epidemic of bitcoin scams caused by malware last year.