The co-founder of tech giant Apple, Steve Wozniak, has filed a suit against YouTube, as well as the video-streaming platform’s parent company Google. The subject of the lawsuit is the crypto giveaway scheme that used his name and likeness.
According to Wozniak, not only did YouTube fail to prevent such scams from running on the platform, but the company actually made money from it. He’s not the only one who’s seeking justice – the same lawsuit was filed by 17 other plaintiffs.
Suit Against YouTube’s Fake Crypto Giveaways
On Tuesday, the California Superior Court in San Mateo received the complaint saying that YouTube featured a number of scam videos that falsely featured footage of Steve Wozniak and other celebrities in the world of modern tech.
The scam defrauded numerous YouTube users, practically stealing millions of dollars from them. As a result of the scam, Wozniak’s reputation, as well as the reputation of other plaintiffs suffered almost irreparable damage.
The 18 plaintiffs who followed the complaint last week aren’t the only ones whose images and videos were used in the scam videos. Other famous tech entrepreneurs include Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell.
The footage of the aforementioned businessmen was used in live YouTube streams to persuade the viewers that they’re hosting live cryptocurrency giveaway events in honor of the 2020 Bitcoin halving. The scammers asked viewers to send over their cryptos, promising they’d send twice as much back.
Wozniak Applauds Twitter for Dealing with ICO Scams
The latest YouTube bitcoin giveaway scams are just one of many ways that cybercriminals use to defraud crypto-enthusiasts off their money. Over the last couple of years, the main crypto frauds were those focused on the ICOs, that is the initial coin offerings.
How these scams work is that crypto-investors are lured into putting their money in a seemingly ambitious project. However, instead of becoming a new bitcoin, the scammy cryptocurrency goes bust, with its creators taking all the spoils.
To deal with such scams, the US Securities and Exchange Commission took many steps, including fining celebrities for promoting scammy ICOs. As a result, celebs like Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled got fined by the SEC.
Another measure for dealing with scam ICOs was to get social media platforms involved. As a result, Google, Facebook, and Twitter banned ICO advertisements in 2018. Google and Facebook later decided to lift the ban, while Twitter’s ICO ban remains on, something which Steve Wozniak prized the company for.
According to Wozniak, that might be the only way to prevent users from falling victim to cryptocurrency criminals. So far, ICO scams have robbed unsuspecting users of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Some of the biggest ICO scams in history include the following:
- Pincoin and iFan (~$660 million scammed)
- Plexcoin (~$15 million scammed)
- Bitcard (~$5 million scammed)
- Opair and Ebitz (~$2.9 million scammed)
- Benebit (~$2.7 million scammed)