Wednesday, May 23, 2012

YouTube Winner Spam Directing Users to Canadian Pharmacy Websites

YouTube LogoFeel free to ignore any emails purporting to be from YouTube claiming you’ve won something.

The only thing you’ve “won” is a referral to a Canadian pharmacy site.

Since March, spammers have been pushing out a variety of fake YouTube notification emails in order to drive traffic to Rx websites.

Here’s the latest variant hitting inboxes:

YouTube Winner Spam
From: YouTube Service (
Subject: YouTube Service sent you a message: Congratulations, You Are A Winner! (Monthly Winner 2012)

YouTube             help center | e-mail options | report spam

YouTube Service has sent you a message:

Congratulations, You Are A Winner!


Monthly Winner 2012

You can reply to this message by visiting your inbox.

© 2012 YouTube, LLC

901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Canadian Rx SiteIf you were to click on any of the links within the email, you would be taken to a Canadian pharmacy website like the one pictured on your right.

Past versions of the email have earned clicks by saying your video has been approved, your video is on the top of YouTube, or simply thanking you for your video.

What to Do With YouTube Spam

If you receive a YouTube email that turns out to be fake, I suggest you do the following:

  • Avoid clicking on any links within the email. Remember, the goal is to generate traffic for Rx sites, so if this spam campaign is a bust they’ll be less inclined to send another.

  • Mark the message as ‘Spam’ or ‘Junk’ in your email client.

  • Delete the email immediately.

Side note: I have not come across a way to report these emails to YouTube. The YouTube support forums are littered with posts asking how to do it, but so far there’s no sign that the option actually exists. :(

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