Fortnite is both a perfect example and the most recent victim. Since Fortnite’s meteoric rise, there have been multiple YouTube videos running as ads that pitch Fortnite players easy ways to get free V-Bucks. (V-Bucks are Fortnite’s premium in-game currency, which lets them purchase limited-edition skins, gear and weapons.) Search “free V-Bucks” in YouTube’s search bar, and more than 4.3 million results will populate.
Of the first top 10 videos that populate, free v bucks no human verification ios eight are obvious scam videos running on seemingly hacked or stolen accounts. These accounts have a couple of videos promising free V-Bucks, followed by videos from five to 10 years ago. These accounts are often abandoned by the original creator. Some of these are livestreams with thousands of active viewers — and each one promises Fortnite players an easy way to gain free in-game currency.
The ads, like the one below, usually bring players to external pages, where they’re asked to provide their email addresses or download an app.
Many of these are phishing schemes, designed to get access to people’s information. These ads are a major problem — and one that won’t be going away anytime soon.
Twitter and Reddit users have complained to YouTube about the issue, citing the video above. But Polygon confirmed DieAgain340’s particular video, which was flagged by multiple people according to Reddit and Twitter, was approved by a reviewer to remain on the site along with many other similar videos. A source with knowledge of the situation told Polygon that multiple members on the YouTube Trust & Safety team, which includes a group of volunteer Trusted Flaggers, “are in no position to apply any strikes, or take any action on these accounts at all, and this is how it’s going to look like going forward.”
When reached for comment, a YouTube spokesperson refuted that statement as inaccurate, saying the team is constantly training the machine to learn how to detect new types of spam and bad actors.
“We detect and remove millions of spam videos with YouTube machine learning algorithms systems and our teams continue to train these systems to adapt to new types of abuse, allowing us to tackle this content at scale,” a YouTube spokesperson told Polygon. “We use teams of highly trained content reviewers to determine whether videos violate our Community Guidelines.. We are committed to removing spam quickly, in many cases, preventing it from ever being viewed by users, while also making sure that we do not harm legitimate creators.”