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EXCLUSIVE Interview With Internet Detective CoffeeZilla!

In an exclusive for Crypto Magazine, famed internet detective CoffeeZilla discusses how he got started, his thoughts on the modern cryptocurrency landscape, and how to avoid scammers on the blockchain.

THE INTERNET DETECTIVE THAT EXPOSED SAFEMOON

Coffeezilla, arguably the greatest investigatory journalist in the modern cryptocurrency landscape, got in a call with me to discuss his journey to 1 million YouTube subscribers, starting from humble beginnings all the way up to his most recent hit video exposing the multi-million dollar fraudsters behind Safemoon token.

Undoubtedly a substantial influencer in the metaverse of cryptocurrency content creators, I was taken aback by his candid attitude, genuine disposition, and undeniably unwavering integrity. I asked CoffeeZilla how he got started scam busting, what drives him to create the content he puts out, and how he set out on the path to become the internet detective.

“I was just interested in stories people don’t want out there, that combined with my disdain for seeing people getting scammed” he stated in a very ‘matter-of-fact’ way. “I kept seeing my friends getting taken for a ride on multi-level-marketing scams... I thought it was just so ridiculous and insane that anyone would believe in these schemes” CoffeeZilla continued “It’s not just the math behind what makes these schemes unsustainable, I had to watch my friends go through this ... they were promised all this wealth and when it didn’t materialize they felt shame – they felt like they weren’t doing enough – and I could see they were putting everything they had into it, and that’s when I started to realized there was something very wrong.”

Early Pre-Crypto CoffeeZilla Content

No doubt a major contributing factor in his journey to becoming a professional scam buster, in his formative years CoffeeZilla’s mother contracted thyroid cancer and he explained how she was targeted with endless predatory healthcare scams.

“I remember very vividly the house smelling like garlic because she had been told by (one organization) that if you eat X cloves of garlic or some other stupid protocol ... she just really believed that.”

Thankfully the family were able to talk her out of the schemes and eventually and she was able to receive a successful medical intervention. Early exposure to charlatans attempting to proffer “crazy whack cures” to the vulnerable appears to have cemented a sense of ‘fairness’ in the young Coffeezilla, a characteristic he would later carry forward into his career as an investigatory journalist.

“They know all the right things to say, all the right buttons to press, these health scam-cures are a huge industry – so as I got a bit older and started getting into YouTube - I saw there weren’t that many people talking about scams – so I started posting about them with a series called ‘fake guru’. Specifically, I was focused on get-rich-quick schemes, pyramid schemes, and health scams – that grew for two years or so, and I noticed it really resonated with a lot of people. They would reach out with emails thanking me for what I was doing, I realized the work I was doing was having a real impact.”

CoffeeZilla's "Fake Guru" content - Prior his relocation to the Million Dollar Studio

Eventually, CoffeeZilla would ‘stumble’ his way into crypto – as he started to pay more attention he found scammers getting away with orders of magnitude more wealth with little-to-no accountability.

“I was gobsmacked, I was shocked – the guy I was talking about (in an MLM scheme) lost $26,000, which admittedly is a huge amount for a teacher to lose, but when I got into crypto... you’re in the millions of dollars! Everything felt like it was ratcheted up, the stakes were so much higher.”

As he started to realize that in some of these bigger scams going on in crypto people were losing thousands of dollars to deceptive schemes intentionally constructed to be incredibly confusing to the average investor, he started to make the shift from being the internet detective of traditional scams, to the world of cryptocurrency fraudsters.

What happened when you released your video exposing the SafeMoon fraud?

“The SafeMoon community are almost entirely inoculated against people who expose SafeMoon. One of the first people that really did it was this guy called ‘War on Rugs’, and he ended up being a scammer himself ... he used the exposure to launch his own scam coin ‘FairMoon’.”

CoffeeZilla explained how the self-titled ‘SafeMoon Army’ started to become increasingly distrustful of anyone attempting to discredit the project – assuming them to be “scammers and opportunists”.

Unfortunately for SafeMoon, at this stage the evidence is overwhelmingly against them.

“If this thing is a scam, it’s a scam – It’s been interesting to watch as the CEO has not made a single statement besides denying to make a statement about all these serious allegations ... the community initially wanted a response, but then as (the CEO) refused to respond they started talking themselves out of needing one.” he continued “anything that the team does (the community) assumes is the right move ... if he is a scammer and it’s not the right move, they’re in deep, deep trouble.”

The SafeMoon community has formed into a cult of hyper-positivity, accusing critics of “FUD”. 

“The more I dig into it, and I have dug in a lot more, I’ve done three pieces on them, I’m now more convinced than ever (that they are scammers) so the backlash means nothing to me. I’m more concerned with the holders who are going to lose a lot of money on this.”

In your most recent video you got into a conversation with one of the SafeMoon scammers, what was that like?
“It was really weird. (Papa) was totally up-front with him about how I felt about SafeMoon from the very start, it seemed like at the very end of the call he was sort of baffled by the idea that I did not think SafeMoon was some wonderful project – it was an extremely strange situation.”

CoffeeZilla explained that he was delighted that ‘Papa’ took the call, noting that he gave some “Much needed context”.

“The thing about these kinds of companies is that the best people to hear from is the people that were there, I can do as much research as I want from the outside, but if you can get an insider, that’s everything.”

In their interview Papa was “shockingly candid” in his opinion that the CEO of SafeMoon had been committing fraud, and said that he could “see the problem” with the SafeMoon team walking away millionaires while their investors are left holding the bag.

“I can always admire someone who decides to come clean, at least he’s telling the truth, but man that truth is hard to take ... I’m 99% sure my interview with him will be played in a courtroom one day."

Have you ever faced backlash for your past scam-busting content?
“Back when I was exposing a fake guru, there was this guy who tried to blackmail me.” CoffeeZilla had told him that his “course was trash” and accused him of conducting a “get rich quick scheme”.

“I got this email that told me I had ruined my life and everyone who was around me in my life with my ventures, threatening to post endless articles about me that I’d never be able to remove from the internet”.

This was followed by a series of SEO-optimized articles accusing CoffeeZilla of outlandish and demonstrably false accusations, then attempting to charge a fee for their removal.

“Every now and then these false things will crop up again, when people are upset that I’m exposing their scam they’ll reach for the closest mud to throw, it’s just harassment basically, I just go forward with what the truth is – I find that if someone has to lie about you to try and win an argument, you’ve already won.”

Low IQ SafeMoon Shills Attempt to 'Expose' CoffeeZilla

Didn’t you get exposed by Batman?
“The SafeMoon Batman? He’s a nice guy – he’s just speculating if I’ve been secretly paid by SafeMoon, that there’s some kind of shadowy organization behind CoffeeZilla – I’m thinking to myself, I wish! No shadowy organization here, unfortunately.”

So you expose cryptocurrency scammers, do you hold any crypto yourself?
“I’ve spoke about this at length before, I hold some of the largest market-cap coins, I generally don’t tell people which ones, but they’re all basically top-10 coins. There are 4-5 of them that I like. I’m not actually a crypto sceptic – I think some people view me as a crypto sceptic but I actually like crypto, I think it’s going to revolutionize the financial industry, but before it does that it needs to get past this scam phase.”

“I’m on the same side as people building real projects in the crypto space, they have
nothing to fear from me, I try to go after the opposite, the opportunists, the people who give the space a bad name.”

“I don’t know if I can pick the winners, but I’m pretty good at picking the losers. I’ll do a retrospective one day and go over all the coins I’ve called out, because I’m pretty sure I’m a 100% accuracy rate, every coin I’ve done a video has tanked – there’s never been a story where there’s been such a good team behind it that they’ve been able to save the project.”

You’re very open about your faith, how do you feel it impacts your work?
“I feel like there’s something bigger than just making money – I think justice is more than just the laws – sometimes there are imperfect laws or laws that don’t uphold justice the way they should, for example, a lot of cryptocurrency scams are going unprosecuted, a lot of people are getting ripped off and there’s a lot of time not a good recourse for those people.”

Is there anyone you’ve exposed that you think has redeemed themselves?
“You know that’s a tough question, there’s was a kid called ‘Steve will do it’ involved in a shady gambling company, basically unregulated crypto gambling to a US audience, so we did a story on him and talked about the deep harms of gambling – I got on a call with Steve and he showed a great deal of remorse, self-awareness, etc – and I started to believe him. He said to me he was going to stop doing it, that he was done, that he’ll never do it again and he’d taken what I had said on board – so I would have said him, but just the other day he started it back up, he just waited for the backlash to die and then he started it back up! So my ‘perfect example’ of a redeemed scammer got pretty well torched and now I look at things much differently.”

After being pushed for a more general answer, CoffeeZilla said:
“I think the people who are most redeemable, I can’t give their names, but it’s people that are part of these big scam projects that come to me who know they’ve done something wrong and they decide to speak out.”

Why do you think scamming is so prevalent in Crypto?
“Because it is the wild, wild west in every sense. It’s unregulated, but also it’s undeveloped. There’s so much promise and so little production – there’s a lot of people trying to do things, but a lot of the promises of crypto are in their infancy. When the industry is all promises, the scammer is on an even-footing with the legitimate businessman, because it’s just as easy to make a promise that isn’t true as it is to make
one that is true. My thought is that cleaning up this world is not just going to be through efforts of law enforcement and journalists, but the biggest way to clean up this space is real products. When the real use-cases start to land there’s going to be much less worry about scamcoins, once you have the real thing the counterfeits are revealed for what they are – the builders are going to be a huge part of the solution.”

What does the future hold for Coffeezilla?

“Hopefully more deep dives, gritty investigations, more of the CoffeeZilla ‘multiverse’, and yeah, I don’t know, as long as people keep watching my stuff and think it’s valuable, I’ll keep making it!”

As a final question, do you have a message for any of the scammers out there?

“No! [laughter] they’ll see my message when I post the video!”

A big thank-you to @CoffeeBreak_YT for taking the time to speak with Crypto Magazine. We're huge fans of your work and are delighted to feature this exclusive interview in our Collectors Edition. Discover CoffeeZilla's content on YouTube!

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