A faked video of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has circulated on Twitter attempting to scam investors affected by the exchange’s bankruptcy.
Created using programs to emulate Bankman-Fried’s likeness and voice, the poorly made “deepfake” video attempts to direct users to a malicious site under the promise of a “giveaway” that will “double your cryptocurrency.”
A verified account posing FTX founder SBF sent dozens of copies to FTX users over the weekend. It offered “compensation” for their loss in a phishing scam that aimed at draining their crypto wallets. pic.twitter.com/3KoAPRJsya
— Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler) November 21, 2022
The video uses appears to be old interview footage of Bankman-Fried and used a voice emulator to create the illusion of him saying “as you know our F-DEX [sic] exchange is going bankrupt, but I hasten to inform all users that you should not panic.”
The fake Bankman-Fried then directs users to a website saying FTX has “prepared a giveaway for you in which you can double your cryptocurrency” in an apparent “double-your-crypto” scam where users send crypto under the promise they’ll receive double back.
A now-suspended Twitter account with the handle “S4GE_ETH” is understood to have been compromised, leading to scammers posting a link to the scam website — which now appears to have been taken offline.
The crypto community has pointed to the fact that scammers were able to pay a small fee in order to get Twitter’s “blue tick” verification in order to appear authentic.
The video was mocked for being poor quality and only one Twitter account produced it. user ridiculing how the scam production pronounced “FTX” in the video, saying they’re “definitely using […] ‘Effed-X’ from now on.”
It also gave users the chance to critique the founder of FTX, one user. said “fake [Bankman-Fried] at least admits FTX is bankrupt” and YouTuber Stephen Findeisen shared the video saying he “can’t tell who lies more” between the real and fake Bankman-Fried.
Related: CertiK: Crypto-scammers use black market identities to hide from detection
Authorities in Singapore warned affected FTX investors and users on Nov. 19 to be aware that scam websites promising assistance in recovering crypto stuck to the exchange are mainly stealing information like account logins.
The Singapore Police Force warned of this website, prompting FTX users log in with their credentials. It claimed that the United States Department of Justice hosted it.
Others have tried to take advantage of the attention FTX’s former CEO and FTX. On Nov. 14, shortly after Bankman-Fried tweeted “What” without further explanation, some noticed the launch of a so-called “meme token” called WHAT.
Someone just launched a $WHAT token and it’s done a 4x.
It’s over. pic.twitter.com/VB2UtENSGH
— Tyler (@ApeDurden) November 14, 2022
“Deepfake” videos have long been used by cryptocurrency scammers to try to con unwitting investors. Fake videos of Elon Musk promoting a cryptocurrency platform were posted on Twitter in May. They used footage from a TED Talk a month before.
The video caught Musk’s attention at the time, who responded: “Yikes. Def not me.”