Cyber security specialist Norton is warning TikTok users of an elaborate scam involving AI deepfake parodies of wealthy celebrities like Elon Musk and Mr Beast.
Researchers at the internet safety organisation uncovered a new scam on the platform that preys on users’ hopes to earn quick money, but sign-up pages divert to harmful sites.
The scam involves videos of the celebrities promoting a cryptocurrency opportunity with a giveaway of £8,000 in Bitcoin in exchange for a simple registration.
The promised amount can be seen in a user’s account, but in order to withdraw the money, they’re asked to deposit £300 to £500.
Since August, Norton‘s ‘Gen’ threat teams have blocked access to a number of these sites.
How does the TikTok scam work?
- TikTok users may stumble across a video in which their favourite celebrity is promoting a cryptocurrency opportunity with a giveaway of £8,000 in Bitcoin in exchange for a simple signup – new wealth seems within reach.
- After registering and entering a promo code on another website, the amount of money promised in the video even appears in their account, further convincing users the opportunity is real.
- But here’s the catch: In order to withdraw the money, they’re asked to deposit hundreds of pounds and the moment they take this bait, that money vanishes into thin air.
Gen’s top tips to protect yourself:
- Skepticism is your best friend: Never trust giveaways, even if they appear to be endorsed by celebrities. Remember, videos can be manipulated.
- Report suspicious content: If you come across these scams, report them to the platform. Gen has flagged several on TikTok already, and every report helps protect others.
- Stay informed: Keep an eye on platforms like Gen to stay updated on the latest scams and cybersecurity threats.
- Use tools like security software to help protect yourself and your identity in case of scams.