Lessons were learned.
The hunter becomes the hunted.
A YouTube channel called Tech Support Scams, dedicated to trolling and unmasking scammers, fell victim to a tech support scammer — who convinced creator Jim Browning to delete the entire channel, The Register reports.
The irony is palpable. And the incident also comes as a warning to anybody out there talking to tech support: If it seems suspect, it's probably a scam.
In this case, it sounds like a convincing ruse.
"So to prove that anyone can be scammed, I was convinced to delete my YouTube channel because I was convinced I was talking [to YouTube] support," Browning wrote in a Twitter announcement. "I never lost control of the channel, but the sneaky s**t managed to get me to delete the channel. Hope to recover soon."
Browning has garnered a reputation for his "scam baiting" videos, accumulating over three million subscribers on the platform. He usually sets up a honeypot system, pretends to fall for a scam while allowing rogue agents — claiming to be tech support — to scour his hard drives and plant malware.
It's a pertinent topic these days. According to new research by Microsoft, tech support scams adapted and persisted this year, with three out of five consumers having encountered some form of the scams in the last 12 months.
So how do you keep yourself protected? The Federal Trade Commission recommends that those who fell for a scam call their credit card company if they ever paid the scammers any money. Legitimate tech companies also will not be contacting people by phone, email or text message in case of a real issue.
For Browning, lessons were certainly learned.
"I will make a video on how all of this went down, but suffice to say, it was pretty convincing until the very end," Browning wrote in a Patreon update. "I hope to post a positive update soon."
READ MORE: Scam-baiting YouTube channel Tech Support Scams taken offline by tech support scam [The Register]