Imagine working for years on YouTube to reach 50K + subs on your channel and then losing it all. That is the nightmare that happened to YouTuber Kennis Russell because of a scam that cost him his entire YouTube channel.
Kennis Russell, guitar enthusiasts on YouTube, had over 50K subscribers. He worked years to get to that point. Unfortunately, he was scammed and lost it all. How did he lose it? He received a scam sponsorship deal that resulted in the scammer hacking his account. Kennis essentially lost his ownership of his channel and there was nothing he could do about it. The channel was eventually deleted by YouTube because the scammer posted a ton of copyrighted material on the channel. Still, it earned the scammer a lot of money and resulted in Kennis losing his years of hard work and his community.
You can see Kennis talk about the entire experience in his video below:
These scams aren’t uncommon on YouTube
As YouTubers’ channels grow in popularity, more sponsors reach out. That’s just how it goes. Sadly, this also means there are more scammers reaching out to make a quick buck. Kennis received a fake email from a scammer pretending to be a company called Muzex Pro. After talking about a few specifics, Kennis went to download a free trial version of Muzex and unfortunately was hit hard with a virus on his computer. He deleted the file off his computer, but it was already too late.
The scam isn’t just a rare occurrence for those on YouTube or any other creator platform. After hearing Kennis’s story, YouTuber Austin, the man behind Trogly’s Guitar Show, weighed in on his experience with a similar situation. Luckily, he found out it was a scam before he was hacked. Austin was contacted by a fake company named GameBloom Official. They were a lot less convincing than Kennis’s scammers. When Austin seemed reluctant, they became much pushier and got so desperate they sent him direct links to the virus download while disguising it as a link to a page on their website. Austin avoided losing his channel just because he checked where the link would take him.
You need to be careful out there
As we said before, these scams aren’t uncommon for those on YouTube. As online content creators, you need to be careful and weary when you receive anything from a person or company claiming to be something you can’t solidly confirm is real. Austin pointed out a few tell signs of a scam in his video that we think are important.
First, a company will never outright tell you how much they will pay you for a job in the initial email. It’s always a deal that is worked out over at least a few messages. Second, do a Google search. If they don’t come up in any searches, that is really suspicious. If there is no online trail of the company trying to make a deal with you, then it’s likely a scam. In Austin and Kennis’s case, the companies said they were new and needed more promotion to show up on Google. They try to play it like they’re new brands. Don’t fall for it. Ask them a ton of questions. If the company you’re talking to pushes back and gets testy, then they are likely a scam. However, even if they aren’t pushy, like in Kennis’s case, be suspicious. And lastly, always check where a link is sending you and never download suspicious software they provide onto your computer.
The internet is full of scammers looking to take advantage of creators wanting to improve and grow their channels. Be careful out there. We don’t want anyone else losing their channel.