Last Updated January 1st, 2018

YouTube Moderator Scam Email

YouTube Moderator Scam Email

I get to start this year off with a lovely new scam email I received. It’s pretty simple. It says I have been made a moderator of a YouTube channel. On mine, the channel is called “Have Win Apple iPhone X Get It From: – (link)” – isn’t that a lovely name??? I wasn’t the least bit surprised to find that it was a YouTube Moderator scam email.

Here’s a screenshot of the email:

YouTube Moderator Scam Email

Yes, it really does seem that it comes from YouTube. These guys are starting a fake YouTube channel just so they can make people moderators of their channel and try to scam them.

The link in the channel name is the key to this scam. It shows up as a link in the email. When I checked things out in the Google Product Forums, some people had followed it and had even filled out the requested information. Don’t do that, folks. You should know better. Never share your information on sites you don’t trust.

There does not seem to be a way to keep people from making you a moderator on YouTube as of this writing. With this scam going around, I expect that Google/YouTube will be looking at things to find a way to control this scam.

One simple thing they could do is disallow domain names as usernames or in channel names. I don’t know that they would want to do that, however, as I’m sure many legitimate websites name their channels for their domain.

Better might be to say that you can only be made a moderator of a channel you already follow. This seems like a very simple thing to require to show that a potential moderator has already interacted with the channel in some way.

What To Do About The YouTube Moderator Scam Email

First of all, make sure you know the email is a legit one from YouTube before clicking any links in the email. I looked at this one very, very carefully before I reported it as spam and checked to see if the channel was still open so that I could report it. You don’t want to be tricked into logging in at a fake site. You also don’t want your name as moderator on a scam channel, even when it’s likely one of many, and utterly meaningless.

If you get this email, don’t overreact. I saw some people on the Google Product Forums who shut down their YouTube channels over this. I think that’s a huge overreaction. There is no indication that your channel has been compromised just because you got this email.

This scam email is really not a big deal. Hit the “report as spam” link in the email if you like, and go on with your life. YouTube wants to know about these channels quickly so that they can shut them down. They don’t like scams either. You can also go to the channel and flag it as spam if it hasn’t already been deactivated. The YouTube channel in mine had been shut down for violating the TOS. Surprise, surprise.

It amazes me that scams like this can work, but as I saw on the Google Product Forums, they apparently do, even on people who know enough to go to the product forums. Some ways that amazes me, but that’s just reality.

Be careful any time you get an email. Don’t trust it just because it comes from a trusted source. This one really did come through YouTube’s system because they found a way to get their fraudulent link in there. But it could just as easily been a phishing email from start to finish. Pay close attention to where a link really goes before you click one in an email… or anywhere.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated October 26th, 2012

What Are the Top Words Used in Fake Emails?

I subscribe to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s email list to keep up on scams going around the internet. Most times, it’s not that interesting, but sometimes good stuff pops up. Such as this alert, which included a list of the top words used in fake emails. It originally came from Net-Security.org. You’ll have to scroll down the page a little to see that part, as a couple other alerts come first, but it’s interesting.

This is just a screen shot of the top 11 – it goes to 20 and I suggest you visit the page if you want to read more. They also discuss a type of phishing called spear phishing, which is where they know a bit about you from social networks, and use that to make their emails more legitimate to you. There aren’t a lot of details on the page, but then much of how you deal with scams is knowing that they exist. The details usually change so fast that by the time you learn how one scam goes, there’s a new one coming in. Still, it helps to know the symptoms.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 21st, 2012

Beware Amazon “Package Shipped” Email Scams

Just thought I would quickly share one of the scam emails I got today. It claims to be from Amazon.com, about a purchase being shipped. They even include a shipping address in the email, so that you can see that it’s not going to your address. It’s not too hard to spot as a scam, however. Just take a look:

Click to enlarge

This one didn’t bother to disguise their email address, for one. It’s very clearly not from Amazon. Their URL also isn’t particularly sneaky. Some do a much better job of making the URL look like something that comes from the company they claim to be from.

I blurred out the supposed shipping address on the off chance it’s someone’s real address, but I couldn’t resist leaving the “Appartments 4C” typo visible. It’s not the only typo on the page, which is another hint for the scam.

The most important thing to remember when you get an email you have any doubt of, whether the source is Amazon, your bank or any other site you deal with, is that you can type in the domain name or use your bookmarks. Don’t use links to visit a website when you doubt the source. Go to the domain in your usual way and check your account on your own, or even contact the company. It’s much safer than clicking on a phishing email.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.