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YouTube stars warn of impersonation scam

High-profile Youtubers have been impersonated by scammers sending fake messages to subscribers crafted to look like they were sent by the video stars. 


The scam messages sent via YouTube's message system asked recipients to click a link to receive a prize.

The names, icons and imagery used by the YouTubers were prominent in the messages to make them look authentic. YouTube said it was looking into ways to spot and stop the impersonation scams.

Many subscribers to popular YouTubers including Philip DeFranco, James Charles, Jeffree Star, Lewis Hilsenteger from Unbox Therapy, Bhad Bhabie and many others are believed to have received the messages.

Between them the YouTubers have more than 50 million subscribers.

The text in every message is the same, and suggests that a subscriber was picked at random to get a gift.

Top Tips: 

  • Avoid clicking on any links in the message that appear to be from the YouTuber. If they do have a giveaway on their video, the information will most likely be found in the description.
  • A YouTuber's comment on their own video will always be highlighted and may have a verification tick next to their name if they are a verified creator. Look out for this to make sure the comment is authentic. 
  • Report the comment by clicking the three dots next to the comment and click 'report spam or abuse'.