Watch Out for This Email Scam Pretending to Be From YouTube Support

Watch Out for This Email Scam Pretending to Be From YouTube Support

If you have a YouTube channel, there is a new (new to me anyway) email scam that you need to be aware of. This scam landed in my inbox earlier today. Fortunately, the scam is so poorly executed that it is rather easy to spot. 

The scam is that someone finds the email address you have associated with the “about” page on your YouTube channel then sends you a PDF by sharing it via Google Drive. The PDF is titled “Copyright Warning” and claims to be from “YouTube Support.” However, the email address associated with the shared file is a generic Gmail address. That’s the first clue that the email is a phishing attempt. 

Another clue that this was a scam was that in my case, the email address found on my channel’s about page is different from the one that I use to actually log into and publish videos on my channel. YouTube support, from whom I have received legitimate emails, will only contact you through the email that you use to log into and publish on your YouTube channel. 

Because I enjoy unraveling scams like these, I made a video to highlight the flaws with the scam and how to avoid falling for it. You can watch the video here on my YouTube channel or as embedded below. 

Applications for Education

I like to take scam email attempts like this one and use them as the basis for short lessons about cybersecurity. Emails the like the one I got today have some tell-tale signs of a scam that are fairly easy to spot. See if your students can spot them.

Some similar scams that I’ve unraveled in the last couple of years include this one about image attribution and this one also about image attribution from someone pretending to be a lawyer.

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