Have you seen a pop-up that claims you’ll win a handsome sum of money by clicking the link and downloading the sponsor’s software? It might even be accompanied by a picture of the popular YouTuber, MrBeast. This pop-up is a scam, and MrBeast’s avatar at the top is only there to deceive you—don’t do what it asks.
So how does this MrBeast giveaway scam work? How can you avoid getting scammed? And what can you do if you fall victim to it?
What Is the MrBeast Giveaway Pop-Up Scam?
The MrBeast giveaway is a pop-up scam that offers users the chance to claim $1000 or various other amounts by following a few simple steps. In the pop-up, the reader is informed that the reward has been reserved for them for being a subscriber to a YouTube channel called MrBeast, run by Jimmy Donaldson.
The “giveaway” is fake. To lure people into their scams, scammers promise rewards, but ultimately there are none. This begs the question of why people believe in such nonsense.
A big reason for this is the association of the giveaway with Jimmy Donaldson, who is well-known for his handsome giveaways involving thousands or millions of dollars as cash prizes. Since MrBeast is known for giveaways, scammers trick people into thinking it’s real and that today is their lucky day.
Jimmy Donaldson is not affiliated with this scam; neither are the supposed sponsors listed at the end of the fake giveaway page.
How Does the MrBeast Giveaway Pop-Up Scam Work?
The MrBeast giveaway is a pop-up scam that appears on a user’s screen when they browse through a dubious website or click a misleading advertisement mistakenly.
When users land on the fake giveaway page, they are offered the chance to claim their reward by clicking on the “Claim Reward” button and following the instructions outlined 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 webpage. When the download completes, users are asked to enter their PayPal registered email address, where they could receive the cash prize; however, scammers only lure you into revealing your email address.
So how do the scammers benefit from the scam? There are several ways scammers can profit:
- The software you download may contain malware like ransomware, which can wreak havoc on your computer. Once you fall victim to it, you’ll have to pay a ransom to access your data. That’s one method scammers may use to make money. If you don’t pay, you’re locked out of your system and the scammers could sell your data on too.
- Your PayPal registered email address, which you share to receive your cash prize, is another asset scammers could 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 the suspicious links may also hijack your browser. If this happens, everything you do online will be tracked, which could pose a much more significant threat than just 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 Identify the MrBeast Giveaway Scam
Anyone claiming to reward you with cash just for subscribing to a YouTube channel or downloading a particular software should raise red flags. In case that’s not enough of a warning that it’s a scam, here are some other signs to look out for:
- Does the giveaway webpage provide an encrypted connection? Look at the URL in the address bar; if there’s a padlock symbol before it (and reads “https“), it’s encrypted, but if it says “Not secure,” it’s not encrypted, which is a significant warning sign.
- Did you click on an advertisement about something else, but this pop-up appeared after you clicked it? Close down the tab and open up a new one to continue browsing, just in case.
- Copy the URL of the webpage and paste it into VirusTotal’s URL scanner; if it’s unsafe, the URL should be flagged.
- If you haven’t received formal confirmation via email about winning a giveaway, it’s a scammer.
- Does the ad create urgency by stating that only a limited number of giveaways remain? This is a scammer’s tactic to make you panic and do something you’ll regret, i.e. click on the link and submit private details.
How to Avoid the MrBeast Giveaway Pop-Up Scam
To start with, don’t click on anything you’re asked to in order to claim your prize if you’ve landed on the fake giveaway page. Do not download any software listed on the page you’re redirected to if you accidentally click the “Claim Reward” button.
Be careful not to divulge any information about your PayPal account, including your email address. Furthermore, close the giveaway page immediately and leave the website where the pop-up appears.
You should scan your system using an antivirus suite too, to make sure nothing has been affected by the scam.
Taking the steps above will prevent you from becoming a victim of the scam, but how do you prevent seeing such scam offers in the first place?
To avoid receiving fake, luring pop-ups, the first step is to enable your browser’s pop-up blocker. You can easily block pop-ups in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, for instance. Next, ensure your browser is up-to-date, as outdated browsers are breeding grounds for viruses. Further, install trustworthy security extensions to prevent pop-ups from hijacking your browser.
And only download software from official, trusted sources. Third-party download websites are notorious for redirecting 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’ve fallen victim to the Mr. Beast giveaway scam, don’t panic. Here’s what you should do next:
- Delete any software you have downloaded from the page where the “Claim Reward” button redirected you.
- Ensure your device hasn’t been infected by viruses via malicious software downloads by running Microsoft Defender’s malware scan or a similar antivirus service.
- Check your web browser for hijackers and make sure it is not infected. Your security software should help with this too.
- If you’ve entered your PayPal email in the pop-up, scammers will likely attempt to access your account. Don’t click on any links you receive via email, even if it appears official. It’s a phishing scam.
- Contact PayPal customer service immediately if you see any suspicious activity on your PayPal account.
By following these tips, you can lower the potential harm that scammers pose to you. Nonetheless, you need to stay vigilant; scammers can defraud you in loads of ways.
Beware of the MrBeast Fake Giveaway Scammers
Now you know what the MrBeast scam is, and can protect yourself. But you also have a social responsibility to educate your friends and family about the scam!
There are so many scams, it’s difficult to keep up, but by spreading the word and following standard security measures, you can avoid falling victim.