Elon Musk and Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey are the latest examples of familiar faces promoting cryptocurrency investments. But this is, of course, without their authorization and the promotion is fake. Read on for ways to spot scams like these and what you can do about them.

Here’s the backstory

A series of YouTube videos supposedly starring Musk, Dorsey and investor Cathie Wood have been widely shared recently. The videos show the trio promoting various cryptocurrency websites and services. The lure is that you can double your investment in 24 hours. But it shouldn’t take an online detective to realize that the videos are fake and the websites linked to the promotional campaign are malicious. As McAfee points out in a blog post, the scammers manipulated clips of Musk and Dorsey and broadcast them on YouTube as a live stream. While the talks on cryptocurrency by Musk and Dorsey are real, the scammers put their frame around it and included several web links. In case it’s not clear, Musk, Dorsey and Wood aren’t promoting the crypto websites, and if you invest money in them, it’ll be lost forever. The criminals cleverly put a table of recent transactions on the screen during the live broadcast to further sell the falsehood. This was supposed to show that others were actively investing as the video progressed.

What you can do about it

McAfee initially found 11 websites linked to the scammers. However, it wasn’t long after that the cybersecurity company quickly linked another 15 websites to the scammers, bringing the total to 26. In a worrying discovery, McAffee revealed that “the combined value of the wallets shared on these sites is over $1,300,000.” This makes it an alarmingly lucrative venture. It can be tricky to spot scams. Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs:

No one can guarantee that an investment will double in 24 hours. If anyone makes these claims, they’re not to be trusted.Don’t blindly trust YouTube videos. The investigation found that several channels hosting these videos have over 1 million subscribers, but many are likely fake.If any media personality or celebrity endorses cryptocurrencies, chances are good you will see ads on mainstream media and not just YouTube.Do as much research as possible before investing money in anything. Look to known professionals for help before buying into a celebrity endorsement.

Before you buy crypto, read Kim’s eBook on the subject. In Cryptocurrency 101: Beginner’s guide to buying, selling, and spending digital currency the safe way, Kim covers topics like the importance of your password, buying and storing currency and how to keep track of the market.

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