Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak says YouTube has for months allowed scammers to use his name and likeness as part of a phony bitcoin giveaway similar to the one that was quickly extinguished by Twitter Inc. last week.
Scammers used images and video of Wozniak, who left Apple in 1985, to convince YouTube users that he was hosting a live giveaway and anyone who sent him bitcoins will get double the number back, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court in San Mateo County, California. “But when users transfer their cryptocurrency, in an irreversible transaction, they receive nothing back,” Wozniak said.
The scam also uses the names and images of other tech celebrities, including Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, according to the suit.
YouTube has been “unresponsive” to Wozniak’s repeated requests to take down the fraudulent videos, he said.