Beware of online scammers

Jonathan Bateman, Staff

It’s a normal Saturday evening. You are watching videos on YouTube and drinking your favorite soda. No one is home, all your chores are done, and you can relax without any interruptions. 

As you scroll down YouTube’s front page, you notice a live stream. The thumbnail shows a timer. In the background, you see a location from one of the games you play. You open the live stream, and the stream’s name shows up under the video. “NEW LIVE EVENT IN GAME (REAL?),” it reads.

From the ages of old, there have been people with silver tongues who take advantage  of other people’s gullibility to make a profit. YouTube and other media platforms are run similarly. The more views you get on your content, the more  revenue you make from ads. Every time an ad plays on a video, both the creator and YouTube make money with YouTube taking the larger percent of the profit, in most cases.

The problem is that this system can be exploited. If these silver tongues make a video or stream something people want to view, the creator’s pockets are lined with advertising cash.

Others will use also media platforms to solicit money from people. GoFundMe is a common site for these types of scams . They use sadness and pain to solicit pity, and a lot of money. But many of the cries are fake. The money doesn’t go to their burned down house, or medical treatment, or even their broken car. It usually goes toward personal gains. Because of these actions, people who do need help don’t get it.

But there is another subclass of scammers. I’m talking about Media Milkers. These are the people who piggyback off popular topics to grow their channels. If cats are popular, they will make cat videos. If dogs are popular, they will make dog videos.

Media Milkers follow the river of news, and it works. Because all their content is what everyone wants, people will watch it and make money for the creator.

Social media sites and apps have turned into a minefield. Beware.