A scammer tricked Billie Eilish fans into sending them gifts by passing off an old Instagram Live as a real-time video.
It’s not unusual for celebrities to take to social media to address their followers in real time, with many often using the opportunity to respond to fans’ questions and provide an insight to their life at any given moment.
With that in mind, it’s little surprise Eilish fans were excited to tune in when the singer appeared on TikTok in what appeared to be a live stream at around 1.00am ET on July 6.
The video prompted a flurry of comments from excited fans, with many also showing their support by sending gifts through TikTok’s in-app tipping system.
Upon closer inspection, however, it seems Eilish herself was not responsible for posting the video. Rather than appearing on her verified TikTok account, the video came from an account with the handle ‘@billieeilishlive_1′, which has since been deleted.
The scam proved convincing through the fact that Eilish appeared to be responding to fans’ questions in real time, however Mashable notes that none of the comments she addressed seemed to appear in the TikTok comments section at the bottom of the video.
Fans who watched the video may have become aware of its inauthenticity when the stream immediately began playing from the start as soon as Eilish said goodbye, indicating the video was actually a pre-recorded version of a video she had conducted at an earlier date.
It appears the scammer used the recorded video to secure TikTok gifts before deleting the account; a scheme that would have required the user to identify as being at least 18 years old, and have at least 1,000 followers. The seemingly-fake account managed to achieve more than 60,000 followers, easily passing the requirement threshold.
Speaking to Mashable about such scams, a TikTok spokesperson said:
Our community expects an authentic and entertaining experience, and we work hard to maintain that by identifying and removing behavior that violates our Community Guidelines.
We continue to invest in strengthening our detection and prevention mechanisms to minimise the potential for this behavior to flourish on our platform.
TikTok users can purchase gifts using TikTok coins that range in price from $0.99 to $99.99. The gifts also range in price, costing between 1 coin to 6,000 coins, and the recipient of the gift receives a certain amount of diamonds per gift. These diamonds can then be converted into real money.
TikTok users are advised to avoid scams by keeping an eye out for unverified accounts and for comments that don’t relate to what the person conducting the live-stream is saying.