Someone on YouTube is live streaming an old interview with Tim Cook that was used to draw attention to a crypto scam — and when it was live, tens of thousands of viewers were tuning in.
If you’ve seen crypto scams on YouTube before, you’ll recognize many of the characteristics of what’s going on. The fake live stream attracted attention by stuffing its description with a series of Apple keywords in both the title and description. But when you actually open it, it’s full of odd messages linking to a shady looking crypto site.
There are plenty of signs that a stream is fake. It has a strange title – “Apple Event Live. CEO of Apple Tim Cook: Apple & the Metaverse in 2022.” — and it shows an old interview CNN conducted with Cook in 2018. The streamer added Bitcoin and Ethereum logos to the video stream, covering it CNN Money Added a logo with the text “Apple Crypto Event 2022” and bold text reading “Breaking News” below. And if you actually click on the channel page (which claims “Apple LIVE”), the URL has nothing to do with Apple. This may indicate that the channel had a different purpose at one point but was hijacked by bad actors and used to host the stream.
YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shortly after this article was published, the stream was removed for violating YouTube’s terms of service.
While the bogus live stream isn’t actually from Apple, it’s happening when there’s a major spotlight on the company. Apple aired its big iPhone 14 announcement event hours ago, and CEO Tim Cook is currently being interviewed at the Vox Media Code conference this evening. This misleading stream seems like an attempt to trick people who know Apple is having a great day but aren’t sure what’s going on.
I came across this stream because it was recommended on my YouTube homepage — maybe in part because I’ve been watching Apple videos from the event all day. When I first started watching the fake stream, there were around 16K viewers and before publishing this article, the number was around 70K.
to the edge Also found a live stream on a separate (and also sketchy) channel claiming to be “Apple Inc.” [sic]. The stream was supposed to be an event featuring Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk talking about Apple and the Metaverse, but it actually recreated an interview with Musk and Black Leader Jack Dorsey about Bitcoin. It saw stream numbers reach more than 10,000 viewers and was even linked to a sketchy crypto site in the chat. That too has been deleted.
Update September 7, 10:54PM ET: YouTube has removed live streams.