A new scam among criminals is probably becoming popular and is based on YouTube’s automatic Content ID functions or the automatic functions for blocking advertising revenue or entire channels in the event of copyright violations. The whole thing is somewhat reminiscent of encryption Trojans, but does not currently seem to have a high degree of automation.

Relatively moderate 75-150 euros or dollars (probably depending on the region of the scammers) are demanded in order not to file copyright complaints or to withdraw them. Of course, this sum can also increase significantly if the perpetrators are successful. Payments via PayPal (which could even be used to catch perpetrators in case of doubt), Bitcoin and – occasionally on gaming channels – even Vbucks for Fortnite are demanded.

Despite this perhaps small amount for some YouTubers, it is not a good idea to give in to these demands. On the one hand, one supports clear crimes in the area of extortion, and on the other hand, there is also no remote guarantee that the criminals will withdraw the complaints or actually not file them. Also, of course, you are potentially damaging the entire YouTube ecosystem if the extortions prove to be successful. The only proper action is to file criminal charges against unknown and, with a lawyer if necessary, deal with YouTube directly. Incidentally, the blackmailers also seem to know or overgrow other social media channels and threaten to report/block Twitter accounts if they receive information on Twitter, for example. So it is better to have a silent communication with the respective operating companies and/or lawyer.

If you know more or have examples, feel free to send them to me via email.

For questions about this I am already available. Just write me via my contact form, chat, WhatsApp or Discord.

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