Twitch has had to shut down a handful of livestreams that have invaded and taken over the top live channels on the platform, pretending to be Elon Musk running a cryptocurrency giveaway.
Thanks to botted viewers, and then resulting real viewers tuning in to see what the fuss is about, these channels would amass upwards of 40,000 concurrent viewers on November 1.
As one account was shut down, another would almost immediately pop up in its place, again running the same stream. The broadcast features a generic image of Elon Musk talking, alongside a number of scam offerings for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Emblazoned at the top of the stream was the headline offer: 5,000 BTC, 50,000 ETH Giveaway.
As these channels rose to the top of Twitch’s directory page, thanks to the massive, albeit fake, viewership, users quickly took notice.
“Top live channel on twitch is a blatant bitcoin scam,” one user said, sharing a clip from the stream. “Ran for about 40 minutes with 30k+ viewers ending around Midnight PST. Some generic unrelated footage of Elon speaking with a mask on and this blatant scam overlay.”
But, even as Twitch brought down the banhammer, whoever was behind the scam streams would relentlessly come back with a new account. The channel names were simple ‘elonmusk’ with a mix of random numbers at the end.
It should be noted that the real Elon Musk does not have an official Twitch channel. As one of the richest men in the world, he’s often used to fake these giveaways, but this is the first time it has become so prolific with livestreaming.
Even now, at the time of writing this article, the two top channels on Twitch’s homepage are scam streams, pretending to be Elon Musk and Shroud.
As soon as Twitch shuts them down, another takes their place… pic.twitter.com/ISF2th2aqw
— DEXERTO.COM (@Dexerto) November 1, 2020
Earlier in 2020, Musk’s Twitter account was hacked, along with many others, and exploited to spread more fake cryptocurrency giveaways.
Despite Twitch’s best efforts to clamp down on these scam streams, fake CS:GO skin giveaways, pretending to be pro players like s1mple and dev1ce have been an issue for over 12 months. Twitch have been criticized for failing to do enough to protect their users from these scams.