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Pharmacy Spam Emails Purport to be From YouTube

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Emails claiming to be from YouTube ask recipients if the sender can use their photos or videos on a YouTube homepage or inform them that their video is “on the top of YouTube”. Other versions claim that recipient’s YouTube video has been approved. 

Brief Analysis

The messages are not from YouTube. All links in the messages open a suspect online drug store website that tries to peddle pharmaceutical products.

Examples

Subject: YouTube Service has sent you a message

YouTube Service has sent you a message:

Your video has been approved 

To:[Removed]

[Link removed]

You can reply to this message by visiting your inbox.

YouTube Pharmnacy Spam

 

From: YouTube Service

Subject: YouTube Service sent you a message: Your video on the TOP of YouTube

YouTube Service has sent you a message:

Your video on the TOP of YouTube

To: [Removed]

[Link Removed]

You can reply to this message by visiting your inbox.

YouTube Pharmacy Spam

 

From: YouTube Service
Subject: Martin sent you a message:
Martin has sent you a message:
Hello ;-)Can i place your photo on our home page ?
You can reply to this message by visiting your inbox.help center | e-mail options | report spam

YouTube Pharmacu Spam

 

Detailed Analysis

These emails, which purport to be from YouTube and include YouTube graphics and formatting, supposedly request permission to use the recipient’s videos or images on a home page. Other versions inform recipients that their video is “on the top of YouTube”. And yet more variants claim that the recipient’s YouTube video has been approved. Various links in the messages are included so that the recipient can supposedly find out more information.

However, the messages are certainly not from YouTube. In fact, all the links in the messages open a suspect “drug store” website that tries to peddle a range of pharmaceutical products. Buying medicines from one of these spam outfits is a very bad idea. Even if you do actually receive a product that you order on one of these sites, you have no way of knowing if it is the real thing or some potentially dangerous substitute. 

And, such sites often use unsecure pages to process credit card transactions, which could certainly put your credit card details at risk. Moreover, any outfit unscrupulous enough to use such deliberately deceptive spam tactics is not someone you would want to trust with your credit card or other personal details.

Such sites have also been known to harbour malware that users may inadvertently download and install on their computer.

Spammers have employed similar tactics to target users of Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. If you receive one of these spam messages, just delete it. Do not click on any links in the email.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer