A fake “TikTok for Business” website has appeared in Russia that hijacks popular accounts with a fraudulent content monetization scheme, the Kommersant business daily reported Friday.
This is the first time that the widespread social media entrapment method has involved the popular Chinese short-video app, the newspaper cited the Infosecurity cybersecurity company’s leading analyst Alexander Vurasko as saying.
“Scammers send bloggers an offer to install a version of TikTok for Business with monetization capabilities, which are disabled within the social network,” Vurasko said, describing how the scheme works.
Scammers gain access to users’ login data by requiring them to register on the fake Russian-language tiktok-business.ru website, he added.
Infosecurity, a subsidiary of Russian information security service provider Softline, said tiktok-business.ru is part of dozens of imposter sites that go online every month.
“Their lifespan is small and ranges from a few hours to five to six days,” Kommersant quoted Vurasko as saying.
TikTok, which currently does not provide content monetization options for Russian users, said it has requested Russian authorities to block the scam website.
The fake website remained accessible as of Friday afternoon.
Russia has one of the world’s highest TikTok userships, estimated to have grown from 16.4 million in August to 29.3 million in December 2020.