A seeming network of TikTok accounts is mass-uploading deepfake videos of famous entrepreneurs supposedly promoting “bitcoin giveaways” via fraudulent cryptocurrency websites to con unsuspecting users.
Nearly every scam follows the same basic video formula
The videos are recognizable as deepfakes because of poor audio-visual alignment, odd news headline images and supposed reporting (some even switch between news channels midway through supposed news reports), and glitching graphics. And there is no evidence that Buffett, Gates, Zuckerberg, or Musk are currently holding bitcoin giveaways. Although some of the individuals featured in the scam have expressed enthusiasm about bitcoin in the past, Buffett has been vocally skeptical about the cryptocurrency and once described it as “probably rat poison squared.”
Nearly every video promoting the scam that Media Matters reviewed began with a deepfake news interview between a reporter and famous entrepreneur.
That entrepreneur then announced a “bitcoin giveaway” and directed users to apparently fraudulent cryptocurrency websites. For example, deepfake Buffett instructed users to go to Khaederbit, a fake cryptocurrency trading platform with “no verifiable company details, fake celebrity sponsorships, a referral pyramid scheme, and no ability to withdraw funds.” Users were told that once on the website, they should enter the promo code “ENJOYER” to receive 0.29 BTC, worth roughly $12,196. According to Malwaretips, the Khaederbit website has previously been associated with fraudulent celebrity giveaways.
These accounts appear to be operating in a coordinated network, as they mass-upload the same crypto videos under obscure hashtags.
Additionally, videos featuring deepfake Buffett, Gates, and Zuckerberg all use the same line, saying, “Consequently, I am launching a bitcoin giveaway. Take part if you want to change your future.”