If you’re a YouTuber, watch out for bogus Opera missives winging their way to you.
The Browser team has had to send out a warning in relation to scammy antics trading on their good name. At a time when people are stretched for cash, nothing could be better than a promo mail bearing good news landing in their mailboxes. Unfortunately, it’s not quite what it seems.
A number of YouTube content creators have received mail which reads like this:
Hello, I am the manager of OperaSoftware.
Our company has paid attention to your channel and decided to make an offer. Our OperaGX browser lacks popularity, so we offer you to cooperate with us.
If you agree to cooperate with our company, please let us know and we will send you our terms.
Best regards, Manager of OperaSoftware
The mail, as confirmed by Opera, is bogus and should not be trusted.
OperaGX? What’s that?
OperaGX is a browser from Opera geared towards gamers. It comes complete with a bunch of features gamers and streamers may well make use of. I’ve no idea how popular it is, but I suspect it’s a bit more popular than the developers needing to beg YouTubers for promotion deals.
Is there a risk from this fake mail?
There absolutely is, most likely of the financial kind. Opera don’t dwell on the details too much, but do say the following:
From what we have observed, this particular scam is aimed at smaller YouTube creators in an attempt to get their personal information and subsequently get some form of payment from them.
You may think streamers shouldn’t fall for this, but that’s probably not very fair. The scammers likely target those without sponsorship or product placement deals. This is because they won’t know precisely how legitimate deals take place. The savvy streamer with half a million viewers and branded energy drink t-shirts up for sale? Those aren’t the hot targets.
Someone new to the scene with no deals and small view counts? It’s fake email deployment time. The scammers know the streamer won’t say no to more money. They also know there’s a good chance that stroking their ego (“Hi, we’re one of the biggest browsers around and we need your help”) will get the job done.
What’s the process for spotting a fake?
As far as this scam specifically goes, there’s a few ways to avoid the fake offer’s sting. Certain agencies perform outreach to streamers on Opera’s behalf. They will “identify themselves as such”, and they encourage recipients of such messages to check the email of the sender and verify on Linkedin. They also provide an email address to contact should people still be uncertain about messages they’ve received.
There’s several examples of bogus sponsorship mails on sites such as Reddit. Here’s one which tries its best to disguise the fake email address, while offering up a suspicious download. Here’s one from 4 months ago asking the recipient to download a “timetable of sponsorship prices”.
No matter which variation of mail you receive, go straight to the official source. Check with Opera directly, and keep one finger hovering over the delete button. You may very well need it.