Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, with prominent YouTubers making millions via the various monetization methods provided by the platform. In the last couple of years, a new trend has also become popular referred to as giveaways. Famous YouTubers give away millions of dollars and prizes to their loyal subscribers further boosting their popularity. Mr. Beast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, is a famous Youtube personality who has become famous for these giveaways. To put it into perspective, Mr. Beast has given away over $27.6 million as of July 2023, earning him the title of “YouTube’s biggest philanthropist.” However, at the same time, cybercriminals have been quick to latch onto the popularity of these giveaways, and Mr. Beast giveaway scams have started spreading. This article will focus on what these scams are, how they operate, and how to protect against them.
What are Mr. Beast Giveaway Scams
It is rare to find scams based around a person instead of a trend or an occasion, but that only shows just how famous Mr. Beast is on Youtube. By piggybacking on these trends, cybercriminals misuse Mr. Beast’s name and create fake giveaways to trick users eager to register for the next big giveaway and win prizes.
The giveaways typically appear as ads via pop-ups or promotions with Mr. Beast’s picture and offer vast amounts of cash rewards. By abusing the trust that users place in the Mr. Beast brand, attackers can trick users into downloading malicious software or handing over their personal information.
The scam typically works in the following way:
- Visitors to a website receive a popup notification or a direct message informing them that they have been selected as a Mr. Beast Giveaway winner. This can be via emails, social media messages, and even in the comments sections on official Mr. Beast videos.
- The prize can take the form of cash, electronics, and copies the style of messaging of authentic giveaways done by Mr. Beast.
- To claim the prize, the user is asked to click on a link that either contains a malicious link for stealing the user’s information or triggers the download of malicious software. Again, the scammers copy the style and branding of Mr. Beast’s messages. This can be a picture on Youtube with a message stating, “$1000 to every subscriber who visits this page!”. The user is then directed to enter information like their PayPal email address to receive this money. Or it could require downloading a particular application to claim the prize, which is malware.
Mr. Beast and his team have taken pains to inform users about the terms and conditions of his giveaways and how to identify whether a giveaway is genuine. The impact of falling victim to such a scam can be pretty damaging, ranging from data loss, identity theft, and even full device compromise. Cybercriminals can carry out further malicious actions and fraud by stealing the user’s personal information. Similarly, malware can infect the device and be used for further attacks.
How do Lottery Scams Work? How to Identify It?
How to combat these threats
The first step to combat these scams is to increase awareness and education about how Mr. Beast’s legitimate giveaways work. This helps users to identify malicious giveaways when they encounter pop-ups or messages claiming to be Mr. Beast’s team. While Youtube and other social media platforms moderate the content and remove such scams, they are not fool-proof. Some of the key tips to be aware of are:
- Be vigilant about unsolicited messages or ads that ask for your personal information in relation to a Mr. Beast giveaway
- Know that these these giveaways do not require any up-front payment or application to be installed.
- Be wary about messages that claim you have won awards that you have no recollection of enrolling to
- Check the URL of any messages you receive to ensure they are legitimate before visiting them, especially if they claim to be from a giveaway.
- Scan your device immediately with anti-malware if you downloaded anything or even visited the website to ensure your device or browser is not infected. Additionally, change your credentials for critical accounts like PayPal to mitigate the risk further.
Mr. Beast’s giveaway scam is unique in how it exploits the popularity of a Youtuber and their generous nature to trick users into downloading malware or sharing their personal information. Users need to understand this scam and how it works to prevent themselves from becoming victims. Youtube scams are evolving and will continue to spread as cybercriminals refine them to be more effective. User awareness is thus the best control to continue enjoying your favorite YouTube content and remaining secure at the same time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Mr. Beast Giveaway Scams?
Mr. Beast Giveaway Scams are fraudulent activities where cybercriminals misuse the popular YouTubers name to create fake giveaways. These scams trick eager users into downloading malicious software or handing over their personal information under the guise of winning prizes.
How do these scams typically operate?
These scams often manifest as pop-up ads or promotions claiming the user has won a giveaway. The user is then asked to click a link to claim the prize, which often leads to downloading malicious software or submitting personal information.
How can I combat these scams?
The first step is awareness. Understand how Mr. Beast’s legitimate giveaways work, be vigilant about unsolicited messages asking for personal information, verify the URL of any message claiming to be a giveaway, and immediately scan your device with anti-malware if you’ve downloaded anything suspicious.
What is the potential impact of falling victim to such scams?
Victims of these scams can face data loss, identity theft, and even full-device compromise. The stolen personal information can be used for further malicious activities and fraud.