The purpose of the scam is using a simple phishing message to collect your personal data and earn some money as well.
Today millennials are consumed by the world of social media, and thus the growing popularity of influencers isn’t alien to us. From writing blogs to posting beauteous pictures on social media platforms, vlogging is now a new preferred medium for the influencers. With YouTube, vlogging is now a preferred profession for the influencers and they are known as YouTuber’s.
Are you one of those who has been subscribing to a top YouTuber’s channel? if so there are chances of a message purporting from your preferred celebrity landing in your inbox.
Yes, this is possible and this could lead to a possible scam.
At first glance, the text looks like amazing news where your fancied YouTube star feels extremely grateful to you for being one of their subscribers or for leaving comments on their video. Or you could be randomly chosen for a very generous giveaway for a valuable prize.
The YouTube scam starts with a scammer setting up a new identical looking account as your favourite YouTuber. They exploit a standard YouTube feature that allows users to display any channel name, no matter what their account name is. The purpose of the scam is to kill two birds with one stone, using a simple phishing message to collect your personal data and earn some money as well.
These steps are definite signs leading to a scam:
· The YouTube direct message would always include a link to claim the prize.
· The link leads to a fraudulent Web page that looks official. Once you are there, you are supposed to submit your contact details and personal information. And that’s not even the end of the story
· Now you have to prove that “you are not a robot” and to complete a survey — a fake one, of course, and one page leads to another page and that is how the scammers earn money.
How to protect yourself from YouTube phishing
· Treat friend requests or direct messages with suspicion. First, verify who the sender really is. Check whether the channel is marked as an official one, and at the very least, scan its contents with a critical eye.
· Do not provide your sensitive information on websites you get to from links in a message received over the YouTube platform. Unfortunately, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
· Use a reliable antivirus solution to receive alerts when the links you click try to bring you to phishing or other malicious Web pages.
-- Mr.Shrenik Bhayani, General Manager, Kaspersky Lab (South Asia)