Pro-Russian influencer receives bitcoin donation from suspected serial scammer
Syrian-Australian conspiracy theorist Maram Susli, known online as Syrian Girl, has stepped back from social media after asking her followers for donations and receiving $127 in bitcoin from a wallet with alleged ties to numerous scams and Russian terrorism.
Pro-Russian Susli is a YouTuber who creates political content in support of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria while condemning the US and Israel. “Syrian patriot and Sunni Muslim from Damascus, anti-neocon, anti-NWO, anti-Zionist,” her YouTube profile reads.
On January 24, Susli declared that the “Zionist lobby” was attacking and defaming her. She claimed to need $3,300 AUD in legal fees in order to “draft a cease and desist letter to the Jewish Chronicle regarding the upcoming article.”
The Jewish Chronicle is the most established Jewish newspaper, founded in 1841 and based in London. It’s currently unclear what content the newspaper planned to publish. Protos has reached out and will update this piece should we hear back.
Her tweet asking for donations shared a bitcoin wallet address and linked to a GoFundMe page. “This group [is] spreading lies against me. I’ve made myself the tip of the sword to bring you the truth and whilst doing so I’ve never asked for money. Unfortunately, now I must ask for your help with legal fees, if you have the means.”
The following day, Susli replied to her tweet indicating that she preferred to receive donations through a rival crowdfunding site called GiveSendGo. The Christian platform made headlines last year when hackers leaked the entire database of every donor that has ever given money to a GiveSendGo campaign, revealing donors to controversial crowdfunding initiatives like the Freedom Convoy in Canada.
Susli received dodgy bitcoin donation
Susli received $2,059 AUD from 23 donors on GoFundMe and $516 AUD on GiveSendGo. She closed the campaigns after four days.
“Dear Friends, Thank you for your support. I have enough now for the initial proceedings,” Susli wrote. “So far the other party are choosing not to escalate by defaming me further and are taking a step back. This means we won!!! For this reason I will no longer be accepting donations anymore unless they escalate further.”
Her bitcoin wallet received $476 in bitcoin donations while the campaigns were running. A wallet frequently reported to be used by scammers with alleged links to Russia gave her $124.
Reports that this wallet was used for scams date as far back as 2017. One anonymous user alleged the original source funding wallet funds the Russian war effort against Ukraine. In October 2021, another claimed that the wallet was funding Russian terrorism in Eastern Europe.
- According to Blockchain.com, the wallet suspected to be used by scammers has transacted 467,711 times on the Bitcoin blockchain.
- The wallet has received more than 135,395,677 bitcoin worth $3,123,387,371,991 and has sent more than 135,395,677 bitcoin worth $3,123,387,371,936.
- At press time, it holds around 0.0024 bitcoin worth $55.70.
Just two days after closing the crowdfunding campaigns, Susli announced she was taking a step back from social media “to concentrate on my life for a time.”
“Good luck world,” she signed off.
Read more: Islamic State tests NFTs for recruitment and financing
Susli is an avid pro-Kremlin supporter and anti-Western critic but like many pro-Kremlin propagandists online, she remains coy on her funding and financial support. The Kremlin has often been reported to pay its own influencers to spread its propaganda.
Since last year, Protos has received unconfirmed reports that the Russian government is funding pro-Russian trolls on Twitter with bitcoin.
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