Creators beware! There's a phishing email scam about YouTube and COPPA doing the rounds right now so please don't fall for it.
When it comes to the FTC, COPPA, and your YouTube channel, there's nothing to fear but the fear of itself. And of course, the scumbags who prey on that fear.
First of all, let's start with some good news. The FTC and COPPA rulings have now come into effect on the YouTube platform, and as far as I'm aware, not a single video creator has received a fine, let alone one of $42,530.
As for the bad news, the FTC and COPPA rulings have now come into effect on the YouTube platform, and it's having a massive impact on kids' content creators. Those folks have lost many YouTube tools, including comments, notifications for subscribers, the community tab, and their videos do not have contextualized ads, meaning they're losing a lot of revenue from their videos.
Beware of Scammers Taking Advantage of YouTube COPPA Confusion
This is a slightly reshaped YouTube landscape that we are all still trying to adjust to in 2020. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous types have already adjusted to that new landscape, and are trying to take advantage of your uncertainty over the FTC and COPPA.
If you have been creating YouTube content over the last couple of months, you will have encountered these messages, informing of you of the COPPA laws, and how you need to set your videos appropriately for the correct audience.
However, have you seen one of these? An e-mail from YouTube telling you that if you don't review the latest terms and conditions within a set time period, your channel could be terminated. Thanks to Reddit user u/vwestlife for the screenshot:
Looks pretty convincing, doesn't it? And given all of the hype around COPPA and the FTC, it might panic you into trying to fix this as quickly as possible by clicking on that link. Which is exactly what you don't want to do.
How to Identify That This is a Stone Cold Scam
There are two telltale signs that something's wrong with this e-mail. The first is a deadline. YouTube almost never gives you a deadline to resolve an issue. YouTube simply does it first, and then tells you. Anyone who's got a copyright claim, community strike, or had their channel terminated will agree with that.
The second problem is the sender's e-mail address. Eh, yeah, I don't think that's from YouTube. In almost all cases, when you receive information from YouTube, it will be from an @YouTube.com e-mail address. In some rare circumstances, it may come from @Google.com, so if it isn't from any one of them, it's almost definitely a scam e-mail.
YouTube themselves have said that they will share information about your channel over e-mail, such as channel growth and statistics, but they would never ask for personal information, such as your date of birth, PINs, or passwords.
Here's my general advice. If you ever receive an e-mail about your YouTube channel, telling you that you need to do something, don't click on any links in the e-mail itself, always go to YouTube first, and then find what you need through the dashboard. And that could be for copyright claims, community strikes, all of our information is available directly when you are logged into your YouTube account.
We all know how hard this YouTube journey can be, and the FTC and COPPA rulings don't help us with this, but don't make it easy for hackers to fool you and steal your account, and ruin absolutely everything.
For more FTC and COPPA information, check out this playlist.
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