Have you ever considered a remote job that only requires you to click the like or subscribe button on YouTube videos?
If you have, we’re sorry to say it’s a scam. This month, researchers at Bitdefender Labs have been taking a closer look at the latest remote job swindles polluting social media platforms – namely getting paid for liking random YouTube videos.
Online part-time job listings can be a great opportunity to earn extra cash. Despite many legitimate work-from-home options out there, scammers have fully invested their attention into defrauding unwary internet users to make a quick buck.
How the scam works
There’s no such thing as secret tools, apps or platforms where you can earn easy money, and you need to remain cautious about promises of unrealistic high earnings, especially if they require minimum effort.
According to Bitdefender Labs researchers, the scam starts with potential victims receiving a message from an unknown number (usually beginning with an African country code) that promises payment for simply liking videos on YouTube.
"In fact, this is not the first time the scammers have tried to pitch this type of scam to consumers in search for extra income. What makes this campaign different from previous iterations is that victims actually get paid something, a highly successful tactic that earns their trust, and plays an important role in convincing the users to “invest” in becoming VIP members that will help them earn even more easy money on simple tasks such as liking videos on YouTube,” Nicolae Postolachi, Manager at Bitdefender’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab explained.
It’s also important to note that we’ve seen similar job listings on various Facebook groups promoting remote work or lucrative pay for liking and subscribing to YouTube channels as well.
“Hello. I'm [redacted] Lopez Digital Marketing at [redacted], do you want some extra income?
“In fact, this is a part-time job that does not affect your other jobs and you do not have to pay any registration fee. It's simple, you just have to like a YouTube video and send a screenshot and you'll be paid. We pay you 30 RON if you have already liked the 3 videos, you can like videos in your free time and earn up to 200-2,000 RON or more per day. Do you want me to show you how it works?,” the scammers said (machine translated from Romanian).
Other intros include: “We are a global multinational company and we are currently working as a social media team to increase the visibility of social media celebrities on Youtube and get paid by following and liking our celebrity YouTube accounts. We have to fill out the form to pay you a salary of 30 RON.”
The scammers ask you to provide:
Our researcher played along and feigned interest. This is what follows:
2. Work 2: The Incredible Impact of Romania
3. How We Feel About BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Although the first few tasks (likes on YouTube videos) pay only a few bucks, the scammers lure victims with larger returns if they “invest” their money.
Once the victim has joined the Telegram channel, the second part of the scam comes into play: You are invited to join a VIP group that can earn you even more money. However, there’s a catch: You need to pay a “fee” to unlock these high-paying tasks.
Payments range between $21.66 and $1,083.
“After completing 3 prepaid transaction tasks, you will be our official member and are eligible to receive 30 ron commission per video task an joining VIP group_！_
The task is to click on the order, and upon completion you will receive cash. Just indicate the chosen amount of 100 ron to receive 130 ron. You will have a personal tutor to help you complete these tasks. If you skip this task, your next payment will be only 2 ron and you will not be eligible for any bonus.
This is a hassle-free bonus award, traders have already paid us the margin! If the transaction fails, your funds will be returned.
If you have any questions about the post, please contact the reception.”
The ultimate goal of the scammers is to rip you off, and if you make any of the above payments, they will stop corresponding with you, and block your number.
It’s important to note that the Telegram channel was filled with screenshots of payments made towards victims to earn your trust.
How to spot Like YouTube Videos remote job listings:
7 things you should do if you fall victim
Anyone can fall victim to online scams. If you’re the victim of such scams, we recommend you to:
How to stay safe from similar scams in the future
If someone ever approaches you on WhatsApp or any social media platform with such offers, you should: