Broken! Scammers use fake Elon Musk videos to advertise on FB, IG

Scammers are using doctored videos and images of Elon Musk to advertise on Facebook and Instagram. Meta, Facebook, or Instagram do nothing to stop these out-of-control scammers.

Hopefully that will change. Probably not.


Andrea Stroppa, a former World Economic Forum contributor and cybersecurity researcher specializing in digital communication, social media and research, shared his findings. He also shared his thoughts with me.

In a Twitter thread, Andrea pointed out that Facebook and Instagram have a major problem. Both social media networks allow hundreds of sponsored posts related to scams.

These scammers use Elon Musk’s name and face with fake interviews or fake mentions.

“Over the past three days, this page has created 20 different ads on Facebook and Instagram with a video of Elon Musk suggesting investing in a crypto platform. This is a scam,” Andrea tweeted.

Andrea discovered that these scammers also use verified Facebook pages to advertise on Meta apps. These verified pages are most likely hacked.

Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla are used in these scams.

The scammers are not limited to verified pages, but they have also recently created pages with less than ten thousand followers that have been given the green light by Facebook to advertise.

Elon Musk isn’t the only one these scammers use to advertise their scams. They also use Tesla and SpaceX logos.

And they use the power of Meta Business Suite to target specific users for countries, ages, gender, and other variables.

Analyze fraudulent ads on Facebook and Instagram

Andrea said her team analyzed fraudulent advertisements on these platforms that were linked to counterfeit products for a particular target audience.

What he found instead were these scams which, he added, are most likely the tip of the iceberg. These scams have a common pattern.

In my opinion, Facebook doesn’t seem to care to shut it down. As long as they get their money’s worth, they seem to be fine with scams. Otherwise, they would put an end to the scams. Right?

Maybe someone at Meta will read this and prove me wrong.

Austrian office in Taipei hacked

Credit: Andrea Stroppa

Andrea’s team even found a government page involved in the scams. He shared a screenshot of the message from the Austrian office in Taipei saying that “Tesla’s latest project is shocking the world and the bank is in shock.”

Luckily, the Austrian office in Taipei was able to recover his account and released a statement saying it had been hacked.

However, all of their content posted between August 2021 and May 2022 has been removed.

“We apologize for any inconvenience caused by scammers. We have done everything we can to ensure that no one can abuse our page again.

“From today we will return in the usual way to inform you about our activities in Taiwan, to inform you about Austria in all its aspects, such as culture, as a travel destination, its economy and its businesses, science and innovation, sustainability and many other areas.”

“Thank you very much for your support. The Austrian office team in Taipei.

Elon Musk & Meta users are victims of negligence

Andrea enlisted Andrew Bosworth (Boz), the Chief Technology Officer at Meta and

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram to be serious about the moderation of advertisements on these networks.

“Elon Musk and your users are both victims of scammers and your negligence. Fix it now.”

In a statement to Teslaratisays Andrea Stroppa,

“There is no doubt that Elon Musk is not only one of the best entrepreneurs of his generation but even a formidable distributor of capital. That is why many people want to listen to his advice.

“But all these advertisements appearing on Facebook and Instagram with potential investments are scams.”

“Looking at these malicious ads, there are many common patterns, keywords and media content. Facebook has the technical skills to reduce the scale of these harmful activities. But they don’t.

Scammers use Elon Musk’s face to advertise on Facebook and Instagram

John C. Dent