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YouTube struggling to stop an impersonation scam

Some top YouTube creators caught in the scam

Among those targeted are top creators: Philip DeFranco, James Charles, Bhad Bhable, Jefree Star and numerous others. The fans are targeted directly on the platform.

Fake messages were appearing in their subscriber inboxes. YouTube allows people to send messages to each other, and is often used by YouTube creators to communicate with each other. The fake messages all had the same wording in the messages instructing users to click on a link and receive a prize. DeFranco has a video on the scam that is appended. YouTube says it is working on a solution to the problem.

A member of YouTube’s team tweeted to DeFranco: “Thanks for reporting on this spam issue! We’re in the process of implementing additional measures to prevent impersonation like this. In the meantime, your subs can protect themselves by blocking any account that is spam.”” When asked for more detailed information about what measures YouTube was taking a representative would not provide any.

YouTube has policies regarding impersonation, which say that copying a user’s channel layout, using a similar username, or posing as another person in comments, emails or videos may be considered a form of harassment. YouTube also has policies regarding scams: “Content that deliberately tries to mislead users for financial gain may be removed, and in some cases strikes may be issued to the uploader.”

It is not clear how YouTube is going to solve this particular brand of scam. The post looks exactly like a direct message and does not appear to be linked to a particular account. The best advice until a solution is found in YouTubes’ community guidelines which warn: “Be wary of claims that seem too good to be true, as they likely are.” A good piece of advice for all situations encountered on the Internet!

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