YouTube Partnership Scam Targets YouTubers With Fake Offers

Some YouTube partnership offers are too good to be true. We all want to succeed on YouTube and part of that success can find us receiving offers from game developers and marketers that often knock us off our feet. While the majority of offers appear to be real on the surface there are many scams out there that you should be aware of before you start answering every email. Here’s what you should know about YouTube partnership scams.

fake youtube offer partnership scam

One of the most typical partnership scams is an email message sent to YouTubers who may post gaming content. A fake marketing manager of a video game will send a YouTuber a monetary offer of anything from hundreds to thousands of dollars if they make a video, short, or promote their game on YouTube.

Scammers are known to masquerade as managers of different games but some of the known ones are:

  • Syberia: The World Before
  • Black Desert Mobile
  • Genshin Impact
  • Monster Legends
  • CryptokKtties (Blockchain Games NFT)
  • Black Desert
  • Roblox

Here are 2 examples of fraudulent email messages:
syberia the world before deal 2022

Syberia: The World Before Deal 2022

jonny <guerrillagames_manager_20@atlas.cz>

Hello!
My name is Kristian, and I am an official Advertising Manager of Microids.
We are looking for new partners and would like to work with you and collaborate with your YouTube channel.
We would like to offer you to advertise our product on your channel.
If you are interested in our proposal, please let us know and we will send you the terms of reference and discuss the details.
We’ll also make you a really good offer!

If you respond to this email message you may receive a reply that looks something like this:

Good afternoon, our esteemed partner! Microids Studio is happy to welcome you. If you’ve made it to this point, it means you’re doing great work, and we’re sure we can be useful to each other!

Below you’ll find the keys to the materials in question in our response letter. The materials contain more detailed terms of cooperation.

A little bit about our game that you will be promoting.

The plot of the game is divided into two timelines. In one of them, the heroines are Dana Rose, a young pianist who lives in the “Fuman Bridge” district in Wagen – the capital of the fictional Central European country Ostertal in the 1930s, and in the second, the main character of the previous games in the series – Kate Walker, who is in prison in a salt mine in “Iron Taiga” in 2003.

Link to the game on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1410640/Syberia_The_World_Before/

1. Our offer for 60 seconds integration is $500-$5000, if you don’t agree, send us your offer. The method of receiving the funds is specified in the contract.

2. Distribution of the contract is strictly prohibited.

3. We want you to insert our Syberia game trailer in the beginning or middle of your next video..

4. After signing the agreement, we will transfer 50% of the advance to your payment details.

5. After signing the contract we will give you 100 Steam keys to our game, which you can give away or raffle among your channel viewers.

To read the PDF cooperation agreement, as well as the game trailer, please follow this link:

DROPBOX:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/LINKREMOVED

MEGA:

https://mega.nz/file/LINKREMOVED

Your personal password to enter the archive: Syberia

Quick instructions.

1. Install the archive on your Windows computer (you can find the archive via Dropbox or the Mega link).

2. Unzip the archive. Your password for the archive is Syberia (if you can’t unpack the archive, install WinRar).

3. Watch the promo and read the contract. Please fill out the contract that is in the archive. After you’ve done all this, email me to transfer you 50% advance payment for the work. All of this will take you 5 minutes of your personal time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes, Microids.

Our link:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/microids_official/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Microids_off

© Copyright 2022 Microids. All rights reserved. Microids trademarks are owned by Microids Company and may be registered. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

The fake marketer will then send the target a link to two alleged files compressed in a .zip file, a video file, and a contract. However, at least one of the files in most cases is fake.

Here’s a second fake email message where the scammer claims to be a “Manager” affiliated with the game Black Desert Mobile.

Manager <collab32@volny.cz>

Hello

We think your YouTube channel is perfect to promote our free online game. Therefore, we would like to work with you. We assure you it will be an unforgettable experience. We have an extraordinary online game that we would like to promote on your YouTube channel. We think that this collaboration will be perfect for you and for us. Would you like an unusual collaboration?

Black Desert is an MMORPG that combines elements of several genres at once: real-time strategy, role-playing game and life simulator.

Are you interested in working with our company? We are waiting for your reply to discuss all the details.

We look forward to hearing from you and will definitely get to work!

Welcome Black Desert
Black Desert Team

What’s the purpose of the YouTube Partnership Scam?

To install malware on the target’s computer for malicious reasons which may include maintaining access to the target’s YouTube account and other social media accounts. This is one of the ways that a YouTube account is often hacked. Furthermore, in some cases, we have noticed that Zip Bomb malware is sent to deactivate Antivirus software or crash a computer system.

How to tell if a YouTube offer is fake

There are several ways that you can typically tell a YouTube offer sent via email is fake or deserves further investigation.

  • They send a link to download files as opposed to the actual files: In some cases, Gmail, Chrome, and other email service providers can detect malicious files, and sending the target a link as opposed to malicious files is a way to bypass that. Never open links!
  • The address is from a third-party provider and not the existing domain name: If the game in question has a website and the sender is using Yahoo or Atlas it’s probably fake.
  • The email account ends in .cz: Many YouTube offer scams originate from atlas.cz and other email service providers with the .cz extension.
  • They don’t use a professional and full name: Scammers don’t often take the time to edit the fake email addresses they intend to throw away at some point so the names are typically grammatically incorrect or appear unprofessional. In the email example above the target received a message from “jonny” who claimed to be “Kristian” in the email message.

If you suspect a YouTube offer is fake you are advised to research the message sent to you online. Copy and paste portions of the message into a search engine like Google and see if anyone else is talking about it. You may also want to ask other YouTubers about it to see if they received similar messages (make sure to warn them if they are unaware). If you feel like it is safe to exchange email messages you may ask for additional information but never click on a link or download anything if you do not trust it!

What to do if you fell for the YouTube Partnership Scam

if you fell for the scam and downloaded malicious files onto your computer immediately download Malwarebytes and run a scan to detect and remove the files before they can cause any harm.

  1. Download and install Malwarebytes on your computer.
  2. Run a scan of your system to identify any malicious software.
  3. Remove any malware that is found on your system.
  4. Restart your computer and run another scan to ensure that all of the malware has been removed.

Your computer should now be safe from malware. However, if you feel unsure you may want to consider performing a system restore.

  1. Press Windows + S to open Windows Search, enter “create a restore point” in the text field, and click Create a restore point in the search results.
  2. Click the System Restore button.
  3. Select the recommended restore point or manually chose another one on the list and click Next to proceed.
  4. If you chose another restore point on the list, you will be shown other restore points, select one, and click Next.
  5. Verify the details and click Finish to begin the System Restore process.

Sean Doyle

Jacob is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Jacob's content has been featured in numerous publications.