Have you seen a popup saying that you will earn a good sum of money by clicking the link and downloading the sponsor’s software? It could even be accompanied by an image of the popular YouTuber, MrBeast. This popup is a scam, and the MrBeast avatar at the top is just there to trick you, don’t do as he asks.
So how does this MrBeast giveaway scam work? How can you avoid being scammed? And what can you do if you are a victim of it?
What is the MrBeast Giveaway Popup Scam?
MrBeast Giveaway is a pop-up scam that offers users the chance to claim $1000 or other amounts by following a few simple steps. In the popup, the reader is informed that the reward has been reserved for him for being a subscriber to a YouTube channel called MrBeast, run by Jimmy Donaldson.
The “gift” is fake. To lure people into their scams, scammers promise rewards, but in the end there are none. This begs the question why do people believe in such nonsense.
A big reason for this is the giveaway’s association with Jimmy Donaldson, who is well known for his beautiful giveaways involving thousands or millions of dollars in cash prizes. Since MrBeast is known for giving him away, scammers trick people into thinking he’s real and today is his lucky day.
Jimmy Donaldson is not affiliated with this scam; neither do the alleged sponsors appear at the bottom of the fake giveaway page.
How does the MrBeast giveaway pop-up scam work?
MrBeast Giveaway is a pop-up scam that appears on a user’s screen when they browse a dubious website or mistakenly click on a deceptive advertisement.
When users land on the fake giveaway page, they are offered the opportunity to claim their reward by clicking the “Claim Reward” and following the instructions described on the page. When they click the button, they are redirected to a page with software to download.
The user downloads the software by following the instructions on the download web page. When the download is complete, users are prompted to enter their email address on file with PayPal, where they could receive the cash prize; however, scammers only trick you into revealing your email address.
So how do scammers profit from the scam? There are several ways scammers can profit:
- The software you download may contain malware such as ransomware, which can wreak havoc on your computer. Once you fall victim to it, you will have to pay a ransom to access your data. That’s one method scammers can use to make money. If you don’t pay, you won’t be able to access your system and scammers could also sell your data.
- Your PayPal registered email address, which you share to receive your cash prize, is another asset that scammers can access. They can now send you phishing links in the same email to gain access to your PayPal account or sell your account information to cybercriminals.
- Downloading the software and visiting suspicious links can also hijack your browser. If this happens, everything you do online will be tracked, which could pose a much bigger threat than simply sharing your PayPal email address.
The list of ways scammers can harm you goes on and on; How far they go will be up to them.
How to spot MrBeast giveaway scam
Anyone who claims to reward you with cash just for subscribing to a YouTube channel or downloading a particular software should alert you. In case that isn’t warning enough that it’s a scam, here are a few other signs to watch out for:
- Does the giveaway website provide an encrypted connection? Look at the URL in the address bar; if there is a padlock symbol before it (and it says “https“), it is encrypted, but if it says “Not secure”, it’s not encrypted, which is a major red flag.
- Clicked on an ad about something else, but this popup appeared after you clicked on it? Close the tab and open a new one to continue browsing, just in case.
- Copy the URL of the web page and paste it into VirusTotal’s URL scanner; if not secure, the URL should be flagged.
- If you haven’t received a formal email confirmation about winning a giveaway, you’re a scammer.
- Does the ad create urgency by stating that there are only a limited number of freebies left? This is a scammer’s tactic to get you to panic and do something you’ll regret, ie click on the link and submit private details.
How to avoid the MrBeast giveaway pop-up scam
For starters, don’t click on anything that’s asked to claim your prize if you landed on the fake giveaway page. Do not download any software that appears on the page you are redirected to if you accidentally click the “Claim Reward” button.
Be careful not to disclose any information about your PayPal account, including your email address. Also, please close the giveaway page immediately and leave the website where the popup appears.
You should also scan your system with an antivirus suite to make sure nothing has been affected by the scam.
Following the steps above will prevent you from becoming a victim of the scam, but how do you avoid seeing such scam offers in the first place?
To avoid receiving fake and attractive pop-ups, the first step is to enable your browser’s pop-up blocker. You can easily block popups in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, for example. Next, make sure your browser is up to date, as outdated browsers are breeding grounds for viruses. Also, install reliable security extensions to prevent pop-ups from hijacking your browser.
And only download software from official and trusted sources. Third party download websites are known to redirect users to such pop-ups.
And never click on any advertisement on a website or streaming platform that appears misleading.
What to do if you fell for the MrBeast giveaway scam
If you have been a victim of the Mr. Beast gift scam, Do not panic. This is what you need to do next:
- Remove any software you have downloaded from the “Claim Reward” page. the button redirected you.
- Make sure your device hasn’t been infected by viruses through malicious software downloads by running the Microsoft Defender malware scan or a similar antivirus service.
- Check your web browser for hijackers and make sure you are not infected. Your security software should also help with this.
- If you entered your PayPal email in the popup window, scammers are likely trying to access your account. Don’t click on any link you receive in an email, even if it looks official. It is a phishing scam.
- Contact PayPal customer service immediately if you notice any suspicious activity on your PayPal account.
By following these tips, you can reduce the potential harm scammers do to you. However, you must remain vigilant; scammers can defraud you in many ways.
Beware of Fake Gift Scammers by MrBeast
Now you know what the MrBeast scam is and you can protect yourself. But he also has a social responsibility to educate his friends and family about the scam!
There are so many scams that it’s hard to keep up, but if you spread the word and follow standard safety measures, you can avoid becoming a victim.