Fake Apple livestream on YouTube turns out to be crypto scam

Cook speaking at an Apple special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California on Sept 7, 2022, where the new iPhone 14 was unveiled. The fake livestream broadcasted an edited 2018 CNN interview with Cook and contained messages with links to a suspicious cryptocurrency website. — AFP

A YouTube channel impersonating the official Apple account reportedly attempted to scam users by leading them to a suspicious cryptocurrency website.

This was done over a livestream hosted on the channel, which contained strange messages with links to the suspicious site.

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The sham channel was first discovered by The Verge, which reported that the livestream was being recommended on the author’s YouTube homepage in the hours following the official Apple livestream, where the company unveiled their new iPhone 14, Apple Watches, and Airpods.

Unfortunately, the fake livestream did not have anything to do with the tech giant’s latest device offerings, instead broadcasting an edited 2018 CNN interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, with the text “Apple Crypto Event 2022” covering the CNN logo, along with bold text at the bottom of the screen saying “URGENT NEWS”.

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Logos for both Bitcoin and Ethereum were also included on-screen, with the description being inundated with keywords relating to Apple – the livestream itself was titled “Apple Event Live. Ceo of Apple Tim Cook: Apple & Metaverse in 2022.”

The author of The Verge’s report also suspects that the channel – named Apple LIVE – likely had a different purpose previously, but at some point was hijacked by bad actors and then used to host the stream.

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While Apple has not released a statement on the impersonation, the livestream has since been removed from YouTube for violating the site’s terms of service, but not before accumulating almost 70,000 views and 16,000 live viewers.

On the subject of cryptocurrency, Cook has previously mentioned in late 2021 that the company is looking at cryptocurrency features, but said there were no immediate plans to enable crypto functionality in Apple pay.

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