A fake “Mercedes/Tesla” press conference is live on YouTube

A fake “Mercedes/Tesla” press conference is live on YouTube

Image for article titled Bitcoin Fraudster Hosts Fake 'Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration' Livestream on YouTube Right Now

Screenshot: YouTube.com/@mercedesbenz180

There are brave scams, and then there’s this: Right now, a Bitcoin scammer is hosting a fake press conference livestreamed on YouTube claimed to be a surprise collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Tesla. It’s completely fake, but it actually is in a way convincing.

The live stream is titled “LIVE: Unveiling Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration Model – A car that changes everything.” It uses old recordings from Tesla’s shareholder meeting in 2022, overlaid with a QR code that takes you to a Bitcoin scam site, and a fake tweet engineered to look like it came from Elon’s official account saying “Your life will change in minutes if you scan the QR code . It’s not a joke.” (The tweet does not appear anywhere on Elon’s Twitter feed.)

LIVE: Unveiling of Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration Model – A car that changes everything

Image for article titled Bitcoin Fraudster Hosts Fake 'Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration' Livestream on YouTube Right Now

Screenshot: YouTube.com/@mercedesbenz180

Image for article titled Bitcoin Fraudster Hosts Fake 'Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration' Livestream on YouTube Right Now

Screenshot: YouTube.com/@mercedesbenz180

Jalopnik writer Lawrence Hodge found this video while scrolling through YouTube. We immediately contacted a Mercedes-Benz representative, who confirmed that the video is fake. If you look closely, The YouTube channel hosting the fake live stream is called “@mercedesbenz180,” but with 160,000 indicated subscribers and an official-looking logo and display name, it’s easy to see how someone could be confused by it.

Honestly, it took Jalopnik staff a moment to figure out that this was a scam. The live stream looks real enough, with three paragraphs of Mercedes-Benz boilerplate in the video description and a subscriber-only chat bar. For someone who doesn’t know the automotive industry very well, it might not seem so silly for Mercedes-Benz and Tesla to collaborate on a new vehicle.

But it’s all just a scam. The QR code takes you to a shady page with the URL “muskevent.net”, which pops up buttons to buy Bitcoin or Etherium cryptocurrencies. I didn’t investigate further than that because I value my digital security.

Image for article titled Bitcoin Fraudster Hosts Fake 'Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration' Livestream on YouTube Right Now

Screenshot: Bob Sorokanich / Jalopnik

Image for article titled Bitcoin Fraudster Hosts Fake 'Mercedes-Benz & Tesla Collaboration' Livestream on YouTube Right Now

Screenshot: Bob Sorokanich / Jalopnik

Jalopnik has reached out to Mercedes-Benz for official comment on the matter. We too tagged Elon Musk on Twitter to see what he has to say about it — because, as you probably know by now, Tesla does not have a communications department, and therefore there is no one in the company we can contact to ask about this.

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