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Daily fraud update: 24th April

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Fight continues in Ripple lawsuit case

Video streaming service YouTube has defended itself against claims made in a lawsuit by blockchain-powered liquidity provider Ripple.

The video site was named in a lawsuit recently which alleges that it failed to do enough to tackle scammers who were believed to be impersonating both Ripple and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse.

The site issued a statement in which it claimed to act fast when alleged scams appeared.

“We take abuse of our platform seriously and take action quickly when we detect violations of our own policies like scams and impersonations”, YouTube said.

This did not appear to satisfy Garlinghouse, who used an interview with the Bloomberg Technology journalist Emily Chang to explain his reasons for the suit.

Part of the problem appears to focus on YouTube’s claims that its algorithm was responsible for removing some of the posts – rather than have humans do it.

This, it claims, is as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to users posted online last month, the firm explained how it intends to do this.

“As a result of the new measures we’re taking, we will temporarily start relying more on technology to help with some of the work normally done by reviewers”, it said.

“This means automated systems will start removing some content without human review, so we can continue to act quickly to remove violative content and protect our ecosystem, while we have workplace protections in place.”

This was not enough for Garlinghouse.

He claimed that the issue predates the coronavirus crisis.

“What we are seeing is scammers are taking advantage of these platforms”, he said.

“Frankly this has been going on as relates to cryptocurrencies, as relates to Ripple, and specifically XRP. It’s been going on for well over a year”, he added.

Hemsworth impersonated in crypto scam

The Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has had his identity used by crypto scammers, a regulator in the country claims.

Scamwatch, which is part of the Australian government, posted a screenshot on the social networking site Twitter this week which contained a false claim that Hemsworth had been making crypto investments.

“Don’t fall for this latest cryptocurrency celebrity endorsement scam using #COVID-19 and impersonating Chris Hemsworth”, it said.

“If you see the ad – don’t click on any links”, it added.

The headline of the supposed scam claimed that Hemsworth’s investment decisions meant that “big banks are terrified” but that experts were “shocked & amazed”.

Twitter users who responded to the post from Scamwatch suggested that there were some similarities between this scam and others.

“Looks exactly the same as the Bitcoin scam, but with the words changed”, said a user called Smartman Apps.

Scamwatch is operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Hemsworth, who is from the Australian city of Melbourne, is known for playing the character of Thor.