Redditors report deepfake Ripple scam on YouTube

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Reddit users have spotted a deepfake video of Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse asking XRP (XRP) holders to send their coins to a certain address, promising to send back double the amount, which is a common strategy employed by fraudsters. 

In a Reddit thread, a user of the online forum reported that they had seen the advertisement on YouTube as early as Nov. 25 and Dec. 3. Other Redditors in the thread also claimed to have seen similar advertisements on the platform and reported it. 

Screenshot of an unlisted YouTube video of the ad. Source: YouTube

In the video, a seemingly AI-generated likeness of Garlinghouse invited viewers to participate in an XRP event where they should send tokens to a “designated address.” In return, the character in the video promised to return “double the amount” as part of the fake giveaway. 

On July 14, Ripple’s chief technology officer, David Schwartz, warned investors against the rise of XRP scams after the July court ruling in favor of the company in its battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Schwartz said there are no airdrops, giveaways or special offers associated with the ruling. 

Related: Breaking down the ongoing token impersonation scams with DeFi execs

Despite telltale signs of the video ad being an attempt to scam crypto users, a Redditor claims that Google has refused to take down the advertisement. The Reddit user shared a screenshot of a Google Trust and Safety Team response, saying they have decided not to remove the ad. According to the screenshot, Google’s team said the advertisement did not violate their policies, urging the user to send more information within six months. 

Redditors also shared the link to an unlisted video of the deepfake ad on YouTube. At the time of writing, the video had over 17,000 views despite not being searchable on the platform. Reddit users urged the community to avoid interacting with the video’s QR code to avoid losing their money. 

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