3 min read

Scam baiter Jim Browning bamboozled by scammers into deleting his own YouTube channel

Filip TRUȚĂ

August 02, 2021

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Scam baiter Jim Browning bamboozled by scammers into deleting his own YouTube channel

The popular tech-support-scam YouTube channel under the alias Jim Browning suffered an embarrassing shutdown by none other than its author. In a twist of irony, a scammer was able to dupe the channel’s owner into deleting his own work.

Browning (not his real name) owns and monetizes a YouTube channel showing how he tracks down tech-support scammers. He doesn’t go for the one-offs, but rather the organized business type – full-fledged call centers.

“This is usually those 'tech support' call frauds using phone calls or pop-ups,” he says. “I explain what I do by guiding others in how recognise a scam and, more importantly how to turn the tables on scammers by tracking them down.”

Met his match

As it turned out, a scammer caught Browning off guard last week and tricked him into deleting his own channel by saying he stood to lose his AdSense revenue due to a duplicate channel.

The scammer impersonated YouTube Support and persuaded Browning through email and chat messages to create a new channel and delete his original one. The scammer claimed it was the only way to eliminate the duplicate. Browning unfortunately fell for it.

"“If you're on the ball, you'll have noticed that my YouTube channel has been deleted,” Browning wrote on his Patreon page following the incident.

“It's the result of a scam .... Yes I fell for it. It only goes to prove that if you get the circumstances just right, ANYONE can fall for a scam. I am hoping that YouTube Support can recover the situation by 29th July and I can get the channel back, but they've not promised anything as yet. I just hope it is recoverable.”

He also notified his Twitter following of the incident:

It wasn’t until he was faced with having to complete a form that he realized he might be on the receiving end of a scam. When he eventually did catch on, he had already deleted his channel – seven years of hard investigative work, hundreds of tech-support scam videos, and around 3.3 million subscribers.

Browning quickly contacted the real YouTube to mend the situation while continuing to talk to his aggressor in an attempt to learn more about him. Which he did, through the help of grabify and some flattering words meant to get the scammer to open up.

Channel restored

YouTube eventually fixed Browning’s mess and restored his channel to its original form. Existing subscribers might need to re-subscribe, though, as Browning mentions in a recent video covering the embarrassing incident.

Browning himself admits he missed quite a few warning signs during his initial interaction with the scammer, plus he forgot to follow his own advice: ask more questions, check and double check the information at hand, and take more time to handle the situation. Watch the embedded video below for the full ironic scoop.

According to the FBI, although pandemic lockdowns caused a brief slowdown to tech-support fraud activity, victims still reported an increased incidence rate and losses to match. Last year, the FBI's Internet Crime Center (IC3) received 15,421 complaints related to tech support scams from victims in 60 countries. The losses amounted to over $146 million - a 171 percent increase in losses from 2019. At least 66 percent of victims report to be over 60 years of age and experience at least 84 percent of the losses (over $116 million).

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Threat actors impersonate Canadian gas retailer to deliver malicious OneNote phishing campaign, Bitdefender Labs warns

Threat actors impersonate Canadian gas retailer to deliver malicious OneNote phishing campaign, Bitdefender Labs warns

January 26, 2023

2 min read
Spammers phish eager vacationers with travel-themed lures, Bitdefender Antispam Lab warns

Spammers phish eager vacationers with travel-themed lures, Bitdefender Antispam Lab warns

January 19, 2023

4 min read
Enhance your cyber resilience and privacy on Computer Security Day in four easy steps

Enhance your cyber resilience and privacy on Computer Security Day in four easy steps

November 29, 2022

2 min read
How to monitor your online privacy during your Thanksgiving trip

How to monitor your online privacy during your Thanksgiving trip

November 22, 2022

3 min read
Just your yearly dose of Black Friday spam: Cybercrooks get ahead of the game to steal shoppers’ info

Just your yearly dose of Black Friday spam: Cybercrooks get ahead of the game to steal shoppers’ info

November 16, 2022

6 min read
Bitdefender VPN in 2022: the new, the improved, and the soon-to-be

Bitdefender VPN in 2022: the new, the improved, and the soon-to-be

November 14, 2022

5 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Meta Pays Out Bounties for Account Takeover and Two-Factor Authentication Bypass Exploits Meta Pays Out Bounties for Account Takeover and Two-Factor Authentication Bypass Exploits
Silviu STAHIE

January 31, 2023

1 min read
Hackers steal 10 million customer details from JD Sports Hackers steal 10 million customer details from JD Sports
Graham CLULEY

January 30, 2023

2 min read
North Korean Hackers Tried to Launder $100 Million in Crypto Stolen in 2022 North Korean Hackers Tried to Launder $100 Million in Crypto Stolen in 2022
Silviu STAHIE

January 25, 2023

1 min read