Researchers from “community-driven” XRP data aggregator xrplorer have claimed on social media that XRP giveaway scams may have stolen over 8.5 million tokens from users, worth over $1.5 million.

According to their data, since 2019 the scammers have already managed to steal 8.5 million XRP from users via fake giveaway scams that use fake celebrity endorsements and see them pose as prominent community members on social media to steal the funds.

The funds are then reportedly cashed out through popular cryptoassets exchanges, according to the researchers. The giveaway scams see the scammers pose as celebrities or prominent community members and promise a giveaway to their users. To participate in the fake giveaway, users have to send them funds to prove they own the address, and supposedly receive in proportion to how much they send.

According to xrplorer, the scammers running the giveaway scams are now “in possession of at least ~5.9M XRP with many funds laundered every day through exchanges and swap services.  Due to the nature of the scams, they add, often the funds have already been laundered before victims realize what happened.

While it isn’t possible to independently verify xrplorer’s data, it’s well-known the scams are run on various social media platforms, with hackers going as far as taking over verified accounts to create their fake giveaways. As CryptoGlobe reported, scams have been hacking popular YouTubers to run their fake giveaway livestreams, with YouTube taking some time to give content creators their accounts back.

In response to the scams Ripple Labs and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse sued YouTube, claiming the Google-owned video-sharing platform has failed to crackdown on XRP giveaway scams that caused “irreparable harm to their public image, brand, and reputation.” While there is no mention of potential damages to be paid, Garlinghouse has claimed the funds would be used to reimburse victims of the scams.

Featured image via Pixabay.