September 23, 2023

Because the world’s 18th most visited website and seventh most frequented social community, it’s no shock that Reddit additionally holds nice attract for cybercriminals. Moreover an countless variety of professional subreddits, cute alien photos in addition to annual April Idiot’s day occasions, Redditors may encounter numerous sorts of fakery on the location, together with scams which might be after their knowledge and cash.

On this blogpost, we’ll have a look at just a few widespread forms of fraud that you must look out for when utilizing a platform that till not too long ago billed itself as “the entrance web page of the Web”.


Phishing is usually some of the prevalent forms of cyberattacks. Usually, it takes the type of an e mail or textual content message that poses as a professional request in your login credentials, bank card data or different private knowledge.

On Reddit, this sort of rip-off is unfold principally through personal messages that discussion board moderators can’t learn, which alone makes it simpler for criminals to trick victims into clicking on doubtful hyperlinks and giving up their login credentials or downloading malware onto their units.

In some phishing assaults, scammers ship an enormous variety of messages which might be typically related to present occasions and abuse, for instance, neighborhood activism, reminiscent of when Reddit customers who intend to assemble for a protest could immediately obtain a pretend hyperlink for the occasion. 

To acknowledge phishing, learn the entire message fastidiously, search for grammar errors, verify the sender, and take note of hyperlinks and surprising attachments. If the area appears professional however one thing about it feels off, you might be in all probability the goal of a phishing marketing campaign. 

RELATED READING: Widespread LinkedIn scams: Watch out for phishing assaults and pretend job gives


This focused and extra refined model of phishing depends on messages which might be specifically tailor-made for one individual or a bunch of individuals, reminiscent of workers of an organization. Energetic Redditors who reveal an excessive amount of about their lives in subreddits and even on different websites could also be significantly prone to this assault. 

On a facet notice, a Reddit employee also fell for a targeted phishing scam in February 2023, which led to a safety breach that allow the attackers entry worker knowledge. The attackers had despatched pretend company messages to Reddit workers that pointed them to a phishing web site resembling Reddit’s intranet gateway. The worker unwittingly gave away his login credentials, which allowed the scammers to achieve entry to the location’s inside paperwork, code, dashboards and enterprise methods.

Faux subreddits

Reddit’s core characteristic is its potential to let folks create their very own dialogue areas often called “subreddits”, that are then overseen by moderators who ensure that customers comply with the principles.

This in the end creates an setting the place these dialogue boards acquire person belief. Nevertheless, scammers all the time search for methods to take advantage of this belief, utilizing bots that spawn new subreddits the place mainly every thing is pretend – moderators, subredditors and posts lifted from professional sources. The pretend subreddits typically faux to be crypto buying and selling boards, with their moderators impersonating professional merchants.

Charity scams

Some Reddit boards are devoted to charitable causes. Sadly, they could additionally grow to be breeding grounds for scams because the subreddits entice fraudsters who pose as professional charity providers and prey on the empathy of kind-hearted folks.

For instance, scammers have been noticed to abuse the r/Assistance subreddit, the place folks search or request assist in numerous life conditions. In April 2020, its admins warned about scammers utilizing pretend profiles with CashApp tags starting with $SuperGo**** or $Falco****** that impersonated professional help for transferring cash to folks in want. Nevertheless, various well-intentioned unknowingly despatched cash to the fraudsters.

RELATED READING: Money App fraud: 10 widespread scams to be careful for

“When giving, should you obtain a PM from somebody you imagine you’ve been talking with on an r/Help put up—remember to click on by means of to their profile and confirm that you simply’re messaging with the proper individual earlier than you ship any help,” r/Assistance moderators wrote in a cautionary message in response to the ploy. 

Charity rip-off alert (Supply: Reddit)

Scamming folks in want

In truth, some scams additionally contain fraudsters attempting to steal cash even from individuals who don’t have a lot of it and are asking for assist. 

“This scammer makes and makes use of random, low-karma accounts which have little or no, or no exercise. They attain out privately to struggling customers who’ve not too long ago made requests and promise assist, ask customers for his or her banking data, or provide a verify that in the end shall be returned—leaving the requester’s account within the unfavourable,” reads a put up within the r/Assistance subreddit.

One of many targets described the assault as a right away response to her Reddit put up. “Gosh, these scammers work quick! I posted one thing on the epilepsy subreddit about my mounting medical payments and moments later received a PM from wilstonb providing me a do business from home job. ‘I may be of assist financially together with your money owed’,” she wrote

FURTHER READING: 8 widespread work-from-home scams to keep away from


Reddit can also be standard among the many cryptocurrency neighborhood, catering to individuals who comply with the most recent tendencies within the crypto enviornment and search recommendation on buying and selling crypto. 

Nevertheless, these Redditors typically voice their frustrations about messages that promise to double their investments or promote new currencies that assure unrealistically excessive earnings. These messages typically come from organized teams which have obtained an enormous quantity of “shitcoins”, i.e. cryptocurrencies of low worth, and attempt to promote them at inflated costs utilizing on-line advertising and marketing campaigns. These “shills” typically invade any standard cryptocurrency subreddit and annoy customers.  

To defend your self from these scams, persist with a simple precept: Query something that appears too good to be true. If anyone gives you extravagant earnings or refunds in your losses, report them to the discussion board’s admins.

RELATED READING: Crypto scams: What to know and defend your self

Now on to 2 completely different sorts of fakery.

Spam and upvoting rings

Spamming is a severe subject on Reddit, one that’s exacerbated by well-organized teams that abuse the location’s voting system, create fabricated and probably dangerous content material after which market it on Reddit with the assistance of pretend accounts. They promote clickbait articles with attention-grabbing headlines, however what you land on as an alternative is poorly written content material and a great deal of adverts. Regardless of missing any substance, these articles amass loads of upvotes and optimistic feedback, which pushes them to prime positions of the subreddit’s entrance web page.

There’s a thriving marketplace for Reddit upvotes, with costs starting from $20 to $50 per 1,000 votes. When you come throughout a promoted article with an related hyperlink that each appear suspicious, don’t click on on it – report it to the subreddit’s admins as an alternative.

Karma farming

Reddit depends on a karma system to differentiate between real and fraudulent accounts, however scammers have realized bypass it. They arrange accounts copy and paste older professional content material from Reddit, boosting their very own karma rating and posing as professional customers.

In its Transparency Report 2022, Reddit revealed that admins and moderators eliminated 4% of content material posted on the location in 2022. An awesome 80% of those removals have been attributed to spam, significantly karma farming.

The emergence of AI-driven chatbots late final 12 months made the state of affairs much more tough. In December 2022, the moderators of the favored r/AskHistorians subreddit observed posts that they have been clearly generated with the assistance of AI, Vice reported

Figuring out that the bot’s spammy solutions have been produced with ChatGPT wasn’t the issue – it was “that they have been coming in so quick and so fast,” Sarah Gilbert, one of many discussion board’s moderators and a postdoctoral affiliate at Cornell College advised Vice.  

On the peak of the assault, the discussion board was banning 75 accounts per day, over the course of three days. Earlier than the pretend accounts have been shut down, they managed to unfold advertisements for some online game. 


In at present’s digital age, scams have discovered their manner into numerous corners of the web, together with standard platforms reminiscent of Reddit and different social media websites. Keep your vigilance whereas utilizing the location, watch out for unsolicited messages and hyperlinks, query something that sounds too good to be true, and by no means overshare your private data.

Repeatedly educate your self concerning the newest schemes and keep up to date on cybersecurity greatest practices. Data is your strongest protection towards scams. By remaining vigilant and cautious, you may get pleasure from what Reddit and different social media platforms have to supply whereas safeguarding your self from fraud.