Crypto scams have become prevalent nowadays, and they often use the names of big personalities and companies to attract gullible investors. Last week, a Bitcoin scammer has taken things up a notch by hosting a fake live press conference on YouTube claiming that Mercedes-Benz and Tesla are collaborating on a new car. The feed titled “LIVE: Unveiling Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration Model – A car that changes everything” looks convincing enough to dupe unsuspecting viewers.
The Video in Question
Lawrence Hodge, a writer for Jalopnik, stumbled upon the video and immediately reached out to a Mercedes representative for confirmation. The company spokesperson confirmed that the video is entirely fake. However, with over 160,000 subscribers, an official-looking logo, and a display name, the fake channel “@mercedesbenz180” could easily deceive someone who doesn’t know the car industry very well.
According to Jalopnik, the scammer cleverly overlaid old footage from Tesla’s 2022 shareholder meeting with a QR code that led to a Bitcoin scam site. It’s coupled with a fake tweet supposedly from Elon Musk’s official account urging people to scan the QR code shown on the screen.
The tweet, however, was nowhere to be found on Elon Musk’s Twitter feed. Likewise, it can no longer be traced as of writing because the page of MercedesBenz180 that hosted the questionable video does not exist anymore.
The QR code took viewers to a shady-looking site with the URL “muskevent.net,” which encouraged visitors to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum. Of course, doing so will certainly lead to all that invested money going into the accounts of the perpetrators and disappearing forever.
The live stream even featured three paragraphs of boilerplate from Mercedes-Benz in the video description and a subscriber-only chat bar, which all added to the video’s supposed authenticity. To the uninitiated, it might not seem crazy for Mercedes and Tesla to partner on a new car. For those who are updated about the automotive industry though, it is easy to see that it’s all a ruse because the two have now become big competitors in the electric vehicle (EV) market, with the German brand aggressively countering all the American brand’s product offerings using its EQ models.
Why Scammers Just Love Quoting Elon Musk
Scammers tend to make misleading or fake quotes coming from Musk because of his immense influence and popularity. As the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has a massive following of fans who hang onto his every word.
Scammers use this to their advantage by creating fake tweets or quotes from him, often promoting a product or investment opportunity that does not exist. Musk has also been vocal about his support for cryptocurrencies, which makes the mere mention of his name an attractive lure for Bitcoin scams.
By using Musk’s name and reputation, scammers can quickly gain the trust of unsuspecting victims and convince them to part with their money.
As always, it pays to conduct due diligence before placing any form of investment in any kind of market, especially in the crypto space that has become a hotbed for all sorts of scams. Oftentimes, the victims of these posts are the impulsive fanboys/fangirls who are looking for a quick way to make money without much effort.
Also, it’s crucial to remember that Musk’s official Twitter account is verified, so any tweet or quote from an unverified account should be viewed with suspicion. Similarly, Mercedes-Benz has its official YouTube channel and media platform where you can always check its latest press releases, live events, and products.
Giancarlo is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Megaworld Corporation, and the China Banking Corporation in the Republic of the Philippines.
In addition to his civic and corporate pursuits, his forward-thinking approach has led him to manage several prominent websites in the banking and finance sector, notably the Australia-based RateChoice, where he immersed himself in the world of emerging financial technologies and where he found particular interest in Bitcoin all the way back to 2013.
Prior to his addition to Blockzeit’s dynamic team, he held an essential role as Project Manager for initiatives encompassing blockchain, stablecoin, mining, special economic zone development, and iGaming. This noteworthy chapter in his career unfolded under the auspices of InPlan Consultancy Services, Inc., the think-tank of IMPERO Consortium Management Corporation headquartered in Manila, Philippines, and Tokyo, Japan. InPlan, led by a distinguished retired Cabinet member of the Philippines, collaborates directly with IMPERO’s core management team, contributing to strategic planning and business development endeavors.