There are gutsy scams, after which there’s this: At this very second, a Bitcoin scammer is internet hosting a fake press conference livestream on YouTube presupposed to be a shock collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Tesla. It’s utterly faux, nevertheless it’s truly type of convincing.
The livestream is titled “LIVE: Unveiling Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration Mannequin – A automobile that modifications every thing.” It makes use of old footage from Tesla’s 2022 shareholder meeting, overlaid with a QR code that takes you to a Bitcoin rip-off website, and a faux tweet constructed to seem like it got here from Elon’s official account saying “Your life will change inside minutes for those who scan the QR code. That’s not a joke.” (The tweet doesn’t seem anyplace on Elon’s Twitter feed.)
Jalopnik author Lawrence Hodge discovered this video whereas scrolling YouTube. We instantly reached out to a Mercedes-Benz consultant, who confirmed that the video is a faux. In the event you look intently, the YouTube channel hosting the fake livestream is called “@mercedesbenz180,” however with 160,000 indicated subscribers and an official-looking brand and show title, it’s simple to see how somebody would possibly get bamboozled by it.
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Honestly, it took the Jalopnik staff a moment to figure out that this was a fraud. The livestream looks real enough, with three paragraphs of boilerplate from Mercedes-Benz in the video description and a subscriber-only chat bar. To someone who doesn’t know the car industry very well, it might not seem to crazy for Mercedes-Benz and Tesla to be partnering on a new vehicle.
But it’s all just a scam. The QR code takes you to a shady-looking site with the URL “muskevent.net,” which pops up buttons to buy Bitcoin or Etherium cryptocurrencies. I did not probe any further than that, because I value my digital safety.
Perhaps the most realistic aspect of this scam livestream press conference is the awkwardness of it all. In the 10 minutes that I’ve been watching, I’ve seen fawning Musk superfans ask about building a base on Mars and sincerely thank Elon for the money they’ve made trading Tesla stock. Elon is not a gifted public speaker, and while the 2022 footage has nothing to do with Mercedes-Benz, a casual viewer might think they’ve just tuned into the wrong part of the livestream and missed the big news.
Jalopnik has reached out to Mercedes-Benz for official comment on the matter. We also tagged Elon Musk on Twitter to see what he has to say about it — as a result of, as you most likely know by now, Tesla doesn’t have a communications division, and thus, there’s no person on the firm we will contact to ask about this.