TikTok surpassed 1 billion downloads in February 2019. The most advantaged by this achievement are the band of scammers on the social media video app.
Tenable, a security firm has identified that scammers on the app are using tricks and tactics to get users to sign up for adult/porn websites. Tenable researcher Satnam Narang writes, “Given TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity, it comes as no surprise that scammers would take notice, So far, these scams appear to be in their infancy.”
How do they get users to sign up?
Firstly, the scammers post videos that they have stolen from popular Instagram and Snapchat accounts. To attract users, these videos may feature women, dancing, working out, and performing other day-to-day activities.
The same approach for bringing new users helps these scammers to benefit from cost-per-action and cost-per-install adult networks which reward their allied accounts.
On average, a scam account on TikTok has about 650 followers and 1,744 likes across videos, with the most successful account scoring “34,000 likes across their videos and over 12,300 followers.” However, as noted by researchers, TikTok has removed many of these flagged accounts.
The researcher wrote, “We expect these scam activities to only increase as TikTok continues to dominate the Apple App Store marketplace.”
Data analytics from SensorTower indicate that TikTok was the second most popular social media app in July 2019.