Bitcoin proponent and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is suing YouTube for letting scammers promote bitcoin giveaways scams. He says the online video sharing platform has for months allowed scammers to use his names in a bitcoin giveaway scam similar to the one seen on Twitter last week.
According to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in state court in San Mateo County, California, scammers are using images and videos of Wozniak to convince YouTube users that he is hosting a giveaway and anyone who sends him Bitcoin will get double back. It adds,
“But when users transfer their cryptocurrency, in an irreversible transaction, they receive nothing back.”
The scam also uses other tech celebrities’ names and images, including Bill Gates and Elon Musk, as per the suit. But YouTube has been “unresponsive” to Wozniak’s repeated requests to take down the fraudulent videos.
“YouTube has been unapologetically hosting, promoting, and directly profiting from similar scams.”
Wozniak and 17 other alleged vitamins of the scam sued YouTube asking the court to order the company to immediately remove the videos and warn users about the scams. They are also seeking punitive damages.
Youtube defended itself in a similar case earlier this week, saying it is immune from liability under the provision of the 1996 federal Communications Decency Act that says internet providers can’t be held liable for content posted by users on their platform.
Bitcoin from Twitter Hack on the Move
In contrast to YouTube, Twitter reacted “that same day” the accounts of high-profile users were hacked to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam, Wozniak said.
The San Francisco-based company was working closely with the regulator and alerted a European Union data protection watchdog about the cyberattack that targeted some 130 accounts but didn’t steal any passwords.
The scam took in 13.14 BTC worth about $120,000 that day, out of which $20,000 believed to be belonged to the hackers themselves to build trust with potential victims, reported Chainalysis, which is tracing the stolen funds.
Most of the stolen funds were consolidated in a bitcoin wallet address, the scam cash out an address that has been active since May 3, 2020, and received an additional 7.88 BTC (about $66,000) on July 15 that was never broadcast on Twitter.
As of July 22, 2020, roughly 9 BTC is sitting in 23 wallets, 8 BTC has been sent to mixing services, to mix ‘tainted’ crypto funds with others as such obscuring the trail back to the original source, like Wasabi Wallet, and 4 BTC moved to other entities.