How the ‘girl with cancer’ video scam works is revealed

Security experts identified a new fraud that circulates through Youtube. It is a video in which a little girl who claims to have cancer and needs donations to pay for the treatment, revealed the security company Avast.

In the video, the little girl, dressed in a white coat, tells her story and asks for help with the expenses of her cancer treatment; however, it is a fraud, since the criminals carry over half a million dollars stolen.

“The treatment costs a lot of money and my parents cannot afford it (…) Please help me get well. Please. I don’t want to die.”

“The girl with cancer” scam

How does the “girl with cancer” scam work?

In the video, the “girl with cancer” offers viewers the ability to donate money through a fundraising page linked in the description. In this way, visitors can help save “Alexandra” (or Ariela, Ksenia or Bárbara, depending on the geography of the video).

“We have found a whole selection of videos of the same girl, with calls in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Hebrew. Videos with similar appeals have also been detected, but with different girls and boys,” he says. Pavel NovakThreat Operations Analyst avast.

Users issue comments in favor of the alleged girl with cancer, showing that it has an effect on the audience. “We should all pray for this angel”, “I hope he lives a long and prosperous life”, reads one of the videos It already has more than a million views.

How much money has this new fraud stolen?

Pavel Novak also states that “although there is no way of knowing who this really is little girl or what your situation is, we do know for sure that it is a scam and that more than 640 thousand dollars already collected will not be used for treatment.

According to Threat Operations Analyst, videos of this “girl with cancer” have received more than 10 million viewsputting millions of users around the world in check.

How to recognize the “girl with cancer” scam?

The team of avast acknowledged the following indications that the videos of the “girl with cancer” are a scam. By recognizing the following signs, Internet users can be alerted to the fraud who has already managed to steal more than half a million dollars:

  • All domains were recently registered.
  • The videos use anonymous email addresses, such as 6554997@gmail.com, asd1010850@gmail.com.
  • “Alexandra” and “Ariela” have the same contact email addresses, even though the videos are of two different girls from very different geographies.
  • The address can be traced to a residential complex in Jerusalem.

The videos use hyperbolic statements, such as the fact that the cancer of the little girl It has spread throughout his body. They ask for donations to pay for their treatment, although if the cancer has already spread it is probably too late for medical intervention. “There is a lack of specificity, which is a common red flag in online scams,” says Avast.

Don’t fall for “altruistic” scams!

In accordance with Novak“is fraudlike so many others, takes advantage of the altruistic impulses that human beings have to help each other”.

“It’s especially malicious and unethical because it not only erodes people’s trust in the crowdfunding personal and charity, but rather diverts money from real causes and institutions. It also potentially takes advantage of a real girl, sick or not, whose video was stolen for the scam or who is being forced to act out this scene.”

“The girl with cancer” scam

avast notice that there is scams similar ones that spread via email. The company launches that guaranteeing online security is a complex task that, after all, falls on each individual, who must treat everything he sees online with a critical eye and pause before pressing the button “donate“.

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