There are many people that wish they could live the VIP lifestyle for just once in their life. Some people wish they could chat with their favorite celebrities whenever they want to about random things, while others wish their names were on special guest lists at the most exclusive hang-out spots. Well if you know someone with the Clubhouse app, this is actually possible! This invite-only audio app allows you to chat with some of your favorite celebrities while chilling at home in your pajamas! However, scammers lurk within this app and will trick you with their latest schemes. This is why it is important to know the types of Clubhouse scams and how to avoid them.
What is the Clubhouse App?
Clubhouse is an audio app that is invite-only and is available to Apple and Google Play devices. The only way you can gain access to this app is if one of your friends invites you to join this exclusive platform. This app came out in March of 2020, which is around the same time everyone was forced to stay at home due to the pandemic. There have been more than ten million people that have joined this app, which has helped the app’s value since it is worth $4 million.
There have been some celebrities that have joined the app as well so that they can converse with their many fans about random topics. For example, Mark Zuckerburg has made an appearance on the app to talk about technology, Malcolm Gladwell has come on the app to talk about his books, MC Hammer made an appearance on the app to talk about the rap music industry, and Oprah chats about anything her fans want to. There are also many more celebrities that have joined this app.
While it is an invite-only app, there have been reports of many scams that have happened within the app. According to Ashley Carman from The Verge, these scams can range from scammers pretending to be someone’s favorite celebrity to a scammer claiming that users need to purchase a Clubhouse moderator badge. Scammers are still getting invited to the party, so it’s best to be on the lookout for many types of Clubhouse scams.
Types of Clubhouse Scams
Business Start-Up Scam
Scammers create “start-up rooms” that allow people to share their business ideas with one another. Victims flood the room and discuss their big business dreams with everyone inside this virtual room. Then, scammers take notes about everyone’s business ideas and steal the website domains for each potential business website.
Once victims try to purchase these website domains for their businesses, they realize that their website is already taken. The scammer demands a bunch of money from their victims in order to purchase their domain back. The victims pay a bunch of money to the scammer, but still don’t receive their website domain.
Online Shopping Scams
Scammers attempt to sell products, such as a Clubhouse moderator badge and pretend that the victims need that certain product in their lives. Victims feel like they need to purchase these products to better their business or to be able to keep their accounts.
They give scammers their personal and financial information to purchase the products. Scammers take their personal and financial information and use it to commit identity fraud and drain their bank accounts.
The Celebrity Catfishes
Scammers pretend to be popular celebrities and join the Clubhouse app. They create their own rooms to “converse with their fans” as they find victims to chat within these rooms. Once they have a few victims, they invite them to follow them on social media so that they can keep their conversation going.
These fake celebrities ask victims for personal and financial information in order to enter a contest, purchase their merch, or get more money back. Once victims give them this information, the scammers use it to commit identity theft and steal their money.
Redirecting Victims to Other Social Media Platforms
Scammers make conversation with their victims on the app and pretend to want to keep the conversation going outside the app. They claim they want a way to text their victim too, so they add their victims on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Sometimes, they will even direct their victims to apps such as WhatsApp or Google Hangouts.
Once they got their victims right where they want them, scammers come up with excuses as to why they need their victims’ personal and financial information. They say that they are in financial trouble, they claim they have an investment opportunity, or claim that there is an emergency and need their victims’ information right away.
However, as soon as victims give them this information, they start asking for more and more and it never ends. Then, they commit identity theft and steal every penny they can from their victims’ life savings.
Fake Clubhouse App
Scammers create fake versions of the Clubhouse app and send phishing links to their victims via email or text message. Victims open the link and are excited when they see that they were invited to the exclusive invite-only app Clubhouse.
They click on a button that says “Start Download,” and are shocked to see their devices freeze up and lock on them. They try to open their devices but are stunned to see a message from the scammer stating that they need to pay them in order to access their devices again. Even with paying the scammers, they are still unable to access their devices and are scammed out of their hard-earned money.
How to Avoid These Clubhouse Scams
- Don’t send anyone you meet online your personal or financial information for any reason
- Only sign up using the website joinclubhouse.com and following the steps if you received an invite from someone to make sure the invite is legit.
- Make sure to download the app using only the official Apple Store or Google Play Store.
- Don’t give anyone any business or creative ideas on the app or scammers will use your ideas against you.
- Don’t believe that someone is a celebrity if they are wanting to start a private conversation with you or they are asking for information from you.
- Don’t follow anyone’s external social media accounts that you don’t know unless it has been verified with a blue checkmark.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with Clubhouse Scams!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you have encountered Clubhouse scams. If you were involved in a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.