iPhone 13 event scam dupes viewers out of $69k in bitcoin

Apple Event September
Apple Event September (Image credit: 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.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9