- A scammer pretending to be an agent of YouTube Support tricked a scam-exposing channel owner into deleting his work.
- Soon after, the channel owner realized the mistake, but he had already wiped hundreds of videos.
- YouTube reinstated the channel in its original form three days after the incident, so the victim was lucky.
Jim Browning, a YouTube user running a homonymous channel on the video platform, was convinced by a scammer to delete his own channel and was forced to go through a tedious restoration process. The irony in this story is that Jim Browning is a hater of scammers, and his YouTube channel is dedicated to exposing, making fun of, and turning the tables on them. For someone so deeply involved in scams to be scammed himself, this is proof that anyone can fall into the trap of social engineering actors.
The scammer contacted J. Browning pretending to be an agent of YouTube Support, warning him about the possibility of losing AdSense eligibility (ability to make money on YouTube) due to the existence of a duplicate channel. According to the “agent,” the solution would be to create a new channel and then delete the original one. Supposedly, all his content and subscribers would be automatically passed to the new one with the help of support.
Having been convinced of the claims, Browning went on to delete seven years' worth of work, many hundreds of tech-support scam-exposing videos, and 3.3 million subscribers. The victim realized the scam soon after he had deleted his channel, so in classic Browning style, he continued to talk with the scammer in order to get to know more about the person. At the same time, he contacted the real YouTube Support, which was quick to offer help.
The full story behind the scam, the missed signs of fraud, and what the victim should have done instead are laid out in great detail on this video that Browning posted immediately after the full restoration of his channel.
If you were a subscriber to Browning’s channel, you might need to resubscribe now. Also, the duplicate (only by name) channel remains on the YouTube platform, but this is not a problem. Remember this the next time someone tries to present it as a problem that threatens your presence or revenue-generating eligibility on the world’s most popular video platform. Always double-check any claims, ask clarifying questions, and take time to think things calmly before you dive into action. Doing all that should be enough to help yourself realize you are in the process of getting tricked by scammers.