Wednesday, 18 September 2019

TikTok Users Now Need to Be Wary of scammers

TikTok

TikTok has seen a great rise in popularity. Last year alone, TikTok has seen a meteoric rise. It is one of the most downloaded apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

What is TikTok? 


TikTok is video sharing app developed by a Chinese Internet technology company called ByteDance. It is a 15 second video making app and one of the most popular video sharing apps. Initially it was launched in China as Douyin in September 2016. A year later, it was open to the international market under the name of TikTok.

According to a CNN Business report dated June 2019, TikTok has more than one billion monthly active users. With TikTok, users can create and share short videos with special effects.

TikTok has seen a meteoric rise in the Indian market. According to the app analytics firm, Sensor Tower, the app was downloaded more than 240 million times in February alone.

The app is very popular, but many say that the content is inappropriate.

Due to its increasing popularity among the masses, the scammers too are not to be left far behind. They are looking for ways to commit fraudulent transactions. There was a report that was published by a cyber security company called Tenable stating that TikTok is becoming a platform for adult dating scams. The report claims that the scam makes users sign up for an adult dating website.


TikTok as a platform for adult dating websites


The unsuspecting users sign up on the adult dating websites.

The TikTok profiles that are shown in the accounts contain nude pictures and are stolen from other websites. The idea behind this is to increase the likes of the account and increase the popularity of the given profile.

According to Tenable, the fake profiles show up in the ‘For You’ section page. This has been placed there by TikTok, though it is not known how this happens. The scammers force the users to go to Snapchat accounts where there are videos on nudity. Once the users go to Snapchat where they add adult based accounts, they will encounter a Snapchat story. This will show videos of an unknown person either being sexually suggestive or showing nudity. There will be an emoji or a sticker that will cover the explicit portion of the video.

From the Snapchat account, the unsuspecting user will be directed to adult dating websites. The user will be asked their age and then be directed to a sign in page. After filling in their information, the user will be directed to the actual adult dating website. Here again, they will need to fill the sign up page.

The scammers benefit by generating revenue. They maximize their cost per action to generate revenue. Every time a user signs up, the scammers get paid. A scammer gets paid between $1 and $3 for a qualified lead based on the geographical region, age category or a new user account.

Another way of scamming users is asking them to subscribe to a ‘premium’ Snapchat account. Here the scammers earn revenue when they post not-safe-for-work (NSFW) Snaps from a more private account.

How is TikTok protecting its users? 


They say there are strict policies in place. They flag and remove the spam accounts before they reach the users account.
The number of scammers are increasing and TikTok needs to take stringent steps to wipe out these fraudulent activities.

No comments:

Post a comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.