Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and 17 other individuals are suing YouTube and Google for not monitoring Bitcoin giveaways on their platform, according to a Announcement Wednesday.
The complaint alleges that “tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency have been lost in this scam,” all of which could have been prevented by YouTube.
The individuals seek compensation for a scam scam that has been running on the video sharing giant for months. They are represented by Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, an American law firm based in California.
Wozniak stated that his images on YouTube are used with other tech entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates for Bitcoin giveaways. These take the form of live videos with the scam text over them, tempting viewers to submit Bitcoin (or a basket of other cryptos) if they want to multiply returns. Needless to say, the victims don’t get any money back.
The complainants said they have flagged the scheme on both YouTube and Google several times, but have not received a response. Instead, they claim that the two companies actively promoted and benefited from the defamation, while deliberately providing targeted scams to scammers.
“If YouTube had acted quickly to stop this to a reasonable degree, we wouldn’t be here right now. YouTube, like Google, seems to rely on algorithms and no special effort is required to use custom software quickly in these criminal cases activities, “said Wozniak.
He added that the scheme has caused – and continues to cause – reputational damage to him and other complainants.
If Twitter could do it, why can’t YouTube?
Joe Cotchett, one of the lawyers representing Steve Wozniak, seemed to praise Twitter for his swift action to close accounts related to a Bitcoin scam last week: “When Twitter was hit with a massive hack of 130 celebrity accounts, they quickly stop the Bitcoin scam within a day. “
But he accused YouTube of his incompetence in doing this: “In stark contrast, YouTube allowed the Bitcoin scam to go on for months, promoting it, and taking advantage of it by selling targeted ads.”
Brian Danitz, another law firm partner, said the scam is huge and affects users from all regions. “The scope of the Bitcoin Giveaway scam on YouTube is huge and it is still ongoing. The fraud victims involved in this complaint come from all over the world, including the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Malaysia , China and all of Europe, “he said.
A report from Whale Alerts concluded this month that scammers made $ 24 million in the first six months of 2020, with one YouTube ad making $ 130,000 in one day.
Whale Alert also shows that a lot of scams are going on. In the past hour reported who finished it with 1.9 Bitcoin ($ 17,589). When does it end?