Top 8 TikTok Scams

TikTok Scams: How They Work and How To Avoid Them

Today we’re exposing a bunch of TikTok scams. Let’s dive right in. TikTok is a great video platform with 1 billion users as of June 2023, where people can interact, connect with friends, and share different clips. However, due to its popularity, cybercriminals took the opportunity to create many scams around TikTok, especially this time of the year. Meanwhile, there is the issue of the TikTok Data Privacy Settlement scam, which we’ll discuss in a separate article.

There are many fraudulent practices out there using the app’s brand, both on and off the platform. Feel free to share your experience in the comments section, if you have any. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the most notorious tricks, how to identify them, and how to report them.

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1. Duplicated TikTok Account

Since most of the TikTok users are into instant gratification and want more followers — similar to Instagramers — one tricky way to increase the numbers is to assume the identity of an already established TikTok celebrity and feed off the stardom. How do they do that? Easy. Crooks take viral videos of popular users such as Charli D’Amelio, Josh Richards, Baby Ariel, or Zoe Laverne and upload them to their own accounts.

josh richards tik tok

To assume a famous TikToker’s account, scammers use symbols, emojis, and even foreign characters to alter the username (e.g., Charlidamelio, where the presumed letter ‘l’ would be replaced by the capital letter of ‘i’).

Once scammers gain enough followers, they simply proceed to convert the impersonated account to a personal one and begin uploading original content. Some even manage to get the ‘verified’ badge (you can see how to get verified on TikTok for real at the bottom of this article).

Another example is a YouTube star called Piper Rockelle. On TikTok, a few accounts are using her name. As you can see below, not only is her name misspelled, but it’s also wrapped in icons – two CDs.

piper rockelle tik tok

Many popular users on the platform are the target of such scams, especially since it seems that all of them take daily turns in having the most viewed TikTok video. Let’s take a look.

Here is a list of the Top 20 most searched TikTok users online (not the most popular accounts):

  • Avani
  • Josh Richards
  • Loren Gray
  • Jojo Siwa
  • Chase Hudson
  • beautifulbadass1
  • Baby Ariel
  • Zoe Laverne
  • Luvanthony
  • Belle Delphine
  • Trinity Morisette
  • Hanna Rylee
  • Parker James
  • Leilani
  • Millie Bobby Brown
  • Luca
  • Payton Moormeier
  • Noen Eubanks
  • Maverick Baker
  • Holly H

There are a few other accounts that stand out, such as Jacob Sartorius, Bytedance, Austin Sprinz, Sebastian, Cash Baker, Norris Nuts, and Cynthia Parker.

Before we are moving to the next TokTok scams, let’s address an inquiry that everyone has:

Most Viewed TikTok Video in 2020

The most viewed TokTok video on the platform changes very often, as these clips start on TikTok but became so popular that they end up on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. However, here is the most viewed TikTok video this year:

@daviddobrikWorld record experiment♬ original sound – daviddobrik

2. TikTok Freebie, aka the TikTok Starbucks Drink

The Tik Tok community was flooded recently by a wave of “Starbucks drinks” videos. It was – and still is –  a mysterious, fashionable campaign that got many Starbucks shops inundated with requests for a TikTok drink they’ve never heard of before. Users would ask baristas to make them the ‘secret TikTok’ refresher. Well, the beverage is not really a secret, as the recipe for consists of three strawberry scoops and three blackberry scoops, blended with the matching size scoop of ice.

However, it was considered a ‘secret’ because it was not on the Starbucks menu – it was just a TikTok community request (some people might say the recipe is different). You could still get the drink ordered at most Starbucks shops, but make sure you ask nicely about it.

As the TikTok Starbucks drink is still a hot topic in the videos, cybercrooks use that to their advantage. This scam recently took the form of a regular text message. The users receive a message like this:

tik tok starbucks drink

“TikTok has recently reached the incredible milestone of 800 million users! As a token of our appreciation, we are giving lucky users a FREE Starbucks drink, and you have been selected! Visit the [compromised website] to get it! Prizes are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, so claim yours today!

The link or format of the text message may change, but the endgame is usually the same thing. As soon as you click on the link, you’ll be asked to input personal information under the guise of logging in. Once you are there, the instructions lead you to download a free app, which earns the scammer a referral fee. Other links may infect you with malware that forces you to reveal more about yourself.

Regardless of the content of the message, make sure to delete it to save yourself from unpleasant scenarios.

3. TikTok Download Video Without Watermark

Many users are wondering how to download the TikTok videos without watermark, so there is no surprise that most of them are looking online for websites or software that would help them with that quest. However, scammers know this, as well. Unfortunately, tons of fake sites claim to do that but ask users to either download extra, unnecessary software on their device (with the risk of installing a keylogger) or to pay for a service that should be free.

If you want to download TikTok videos without watermark, you can do it safely HERE. Here is a screenshot of what the website looks like:

tik tok download video without watermark

Suggested Read: Credit Card Fraud

Alternatively, you can try the TikTok downloader, which supports the download of watermark-free videos as well as download TikTok videos as GIFs.

4. TikTok Account Finder

This scam is targeting people who are trying to find a specific TikTok account. Similar to Instagram, the platform offers usernames, but if your account does not reveal your name, then it would be very challenging for someone to find you.

The TikTok Account Finder trick is based on the same principle as the watermark download trap. Scammers advertise websites where you could find anyone’s details – not just their names, but their telephone and email address, too – if you install malicious software on your device. One of these websites was, which has been reported already. Beware.

tik tok account finder

Recommended Read:  How to Prevent Identity Theft

5. TikTok Catfishing

Catfishing is a regular problem not just for the TokTok users, but for any social media platform that has similar features, including WhatsApp, Kik, Viber, WeChat, etc.

Typically in this type of scams, fake users are trying to manipulate you to their own goals. They may steal someone else’s videos (or even use stock footage) and claim to be that person. “Scammers steal videos also from other platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat and tailor the format to the TikTok platform. They impersonate attractive women and upload their videos to the app to encourage TikTok users to sign up for their premium, paid accounts on adult platforms – such as OnlyFans – or Snapchat Premium”, explains Johnny Santiago, online fraud expert from Social Catfish.

How can you identify a catfish scam? How do you know if you’re being at risk?

charli damelio tik tok

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This type of interaction is usually one-sided. The person will talk to you, ask numerous questions about your life but will reveal only little about themselves. It’s a form of manipulation, and if you’re not careful, you’ll soon find yourself disclosing vital information about yourself or logging on to malicious websites.

Keep aware of any manipulation that may be taking place when chatting with anyone online. If anything doesn’t feel right, you should avoid such contacts. These people are typically used to putting you in a tight spot, and you’ll feel the pressure as they try their best to coerce you. Are you really chatting with them, or are they just asking you a different question?

6. Online Dating Trap: One of the Most Popular TikTok Scams

This scam is somehow related to the previous one, but it’s more personal. It seems to operate the same way, but it would span over a more extended period, while the person chatting with you — which you can see in her videos — is real. Scammers won’t try to gain information quickly or immediately from you. Instead, you’ll be tricked into a relationship of some sort.

It will take the form of a random attractive person who messages you and looks to develop an intimate relationship with you. Over time, things begin to get more personal or private and appear like a real relationship. The only catch is that you don’t know their intentions, and there’s no real personal connection.

most viewed tik tok video

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As soon as they’ve gained your trust, they may begin to ask for some financial aid to “get out of trouble” (e.g., my mom needs urgent surgery, and we don’t have money to do it”) or even vital financial credentials. They will rely on the connection that both of you have managed to developed and will manipulate you to keep you from refusing. The user is usually too ashamed to tell their friends and family and can even wreck them emotionally.

You should avoid forming any personal connections with online strangers, as that’s the way to prevent any losses. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people for help.

7. Straight Blackmail

The dangers you may face on TikTok are not limited to someone who is trying to gain vital information from you or force you to a malicious website; they may also be trying to blackmail you. To do this, they’ll try to gain your trust before proceeding to talk about sex-related issues. Over time, they could even encourage you to share explicit content about yourself with them, such as a nude photo.

As soon as the user falls victim to this, then the blackmail starts. They will threaten to send the explicit content to the friends or family of the user who has fallen into their trap. Nobody wants naked pictures of them getting to their spouse or children, so they usually for this trick. The scammer would make a financial demand in exchange for saving the reputation of the affected person.

tik tok scams

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Similarly, the scammers would try to get the conversation moved from TikTok to FaceTime, where they would also ask you to record yourself doing personal actions for them to watch. Then blackmail.

Always try to find out who you’re chatting with. Also, do not share any information with a stranger that you don’t want anyone else to see. If you come across any stranger making such demands online, it is usually a scam. Also, it’s best that you don’t make such incriminating videos in the first place and send them to someone who you don’t know.

8. Tik Tok Bots

TikTok is filled with different bots that would try to interact with you, just like regular users. In fact, you may easily think they are genuine, and it would cause you to fall victim to a Tik Tok blackmail scam. These bots are automated and will function according to a preprogrammed script. Usually, they are designed to be very sophisticated, and it may take a long time to detect what their real intentions are.

Essentially, the goal of the bot is to communicate with you and redirect you to a malicious website that would either look to infect your device with malware or trick you into revealing vital information about yourself, such as credit card information or bank account details. The website may be a sexual-related one, and to pay for more exquisite details, you would need to fill in your credentials.

The key to identifying this type of threat is to try to find out who you’re talking to and identify any unusual phrases or demands. Avoid interacting with any stranger without confirming their identity.

TikTok Scams: How To Report Them

Warn your family and friends about these TikTok scams by sharing the article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers and any other suspicious activity to the TikTok’s Support Page or  the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here

Report to TikTok

How To Get Verified on TikTok

We promised earlier that we will show you how to get verified on TikTok, so watch the video below and follow those steps. Good luck!

How To Prevent Identity Theft and More

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other TikTok scams.

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

4 thoughts on “Top 8 TikTok Scams”

  1. I am relatively sure I have been scammed by Olivercoins on TicToc. On 1/23/24 I inquired about purchasing a rare eagle 5ozt silver bar. I wanted to buy it for my son that was injured parachuting in the Airborne division of the military. It had a cool old eagle on it with wings spread. I asked how much with insurance and signature confirmation and was told it was $200 delivered. He did not accept credit or debit cards, only gift cards, paypal ,zelle or crypto. He walked me through getting a bitcoin acct which I didn’t do. I ultimately bought a walmart card for 200.00 and emailed it to him. I eventually got a tracking number from him for International Logistics Mail(a scam in my opinion). Checked the tracking. Gives me a message!!very very urgent!! Refundable insurance fee needed. Now-ON HOLD flashing in red letters. Tried calling and emailing International Logistics Mail with the phone number and email on their site. No answer to email [email protected], phone number 1-571-302-4404 gave me options if I was called by them, if I was under 65 or if I was over 65. Clearly not a real shipping company by their contacts anyway. I contacted Michael Oliver text only 786-475-6981. He said I had to do another payment of $149 which 95% would be refunded to get my shipment released and I had to pay him to do it. No legitimate business operates like this. He has about 50 different types of coin and bullion listings on TikTok at probably to good to be true prices now that I have been looking him over. 1/31/24 evening was my last contact with him. Told me when I wanted to proceed to contact him. Refuses to honor his original deal or even acknowledge it. I suspect he is doing this to many people everyday. Quite a profitable scheme. Doesn’t take to many deals a day to add up to 3k a day/over a million a year for example especially with the gold he has listed. Forgot to mention he suggested a Nigerian co that buys and sells credit cards as a source for the gift card. His last request was that I buy a physical card for the money owed for shipping $149. I asked for a physical address to mail the card to(trying to get more info). He told to take a picture of it and text it to him. I told him I had just sent my 86 year old mother 2500 dollars to help her last week and I wouldn’t be able to send the money until I got paid and again asked him to honor the deal. His response not my problem. Contact me when you want me to release the shipment. The last thing I texted him “Thank you, its’ been a pleasure doing business with you.” At this point I know I’m out $200 dollars and am certainly not going to make it being out $349 and I don’t expect to ever receive my silver bar. Not saying he’s a scammer but if it looks like and smells like shit, it probably is!!! Hopefully this prevents someone else from getting screwed by this guy.

  2. I bought from the website in May 2022 things for my cats, worth 145.50usd. The purchases did not come. They closed the page, which was renamed ELEGANT and I was left without the money and the objects I bought. They no longer show on the new page all the utensils I bought.
    I didn’t see the reviews before buying.
    Who can help me solve and file a complaint about them.

  3. Ya i had a girl or so called girl you dont know try to get money from me, has me put hangout on see it would be more private. Ha I played her like a gitar used her bad then shook her off if it was a girl how do you know you dont. haha

  4. Likes tik tok

    I send my sister tiktoks because she doesn’t have an account. Those emails have an alert saying someone is trying to steal her information. Is it a real threat or can she open them to watch

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