Daily fraud update: 23rd April

Chris Lee
Stacks of Ripple Coins

Ripple launches lawsuit against video sharing site YouTube

Blockchain-centred fintech firm Ripple has launched a lawsuit against the video sharing site YouTube.

The suit, which sees both Ripple as a firm and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse named as plaintiffs, comes after allegations that YouTube failed to properly tackle fraudsters who impersonated Garlinghouse and the firm.

According to the text of the complaint, Ripple thinks that a large sum of XRP – which is the firm’s digital token – has been taken as a result of the scams.

In one specific case, it is alleged, fraudsters managed to obtain a figure of around $15,000 in XRP from a trader.

“Over the past several months, Ripple and Mr. Garlinghouse have suffered—and continue to suffer—irreparable harm to their public image, brand, and reputation as a direct consequence of YouTube’s deliberate and inexplicable failure to address a pervasive and injurious fraud occurring on its platform”, the complaint reads.

In a long post shared on its website, Ripple went into detail about the alleged “giveaway scams” which have apparently cropped up on YouTube.

In this version of crypto fraud, the scammer will encourage users to send cash on the basis that they will have it – and more – returned.

“’Giveaway scam’ is an industry term that relates to attempts to defraud money from unassuming consumers via social media impersonation, by convincing people that if they send money, they will receive more funds in return—typically through airdrop”, said Ripple.

“These scams accurately impersonate individuals and companies, and are often spread through fake social media profiles.”

“In response to the numerous XRP-specific giveaway scams and impersonations, Ripple hired an external cybersecurity and digital threat intelligence vendor to help with reporting and takedown efforts, in addition to building our own submission form for the community to report unusual activity”, it explained.

In a closing message, the firm said that YouTube ought to be “held accountable”.

“It’s time to end this unacceptable behavior and protect our friends, family members and consumers everywhere”, it said.

“YouTube and other big technology and social media platforms must be held accountable for not implementing sufficient processes for fighting these scams”, it added.

Nigerian man found dead after police probe

Flag of Nigeria

A man from Nigeria has been found dead after he was investigated by a branch of the country’s police force.

Seyi Akinade, who was a student in the country, is understood to have committed suicide after he was investigated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on accusations of forex fraud.

According to social media posts from a person claiming to be his stepbrother, Akinade was suffering from depression.

“It’s definitely a crime to be Nigerian. Nigeria won’t rest until it takes your life!” he wrote.

“My brother died this morning. I can’t help beating myself up for missing the clues he left.”

“My theory is that he committed suicide out of depression based on the way SARS officials treated him”, the man added.

Akinade had been arrested in February.

He was still a student at the time, although he also operated a foreign exchange trading business.


Chris Lee

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