Is There A Scam Currently Going On Twitch?

Twitch LogoIn today’s digital world, you can’t swing a dead NES controller without hitting a scammer between the eyes. Although I don’t have confirmation of wrong-doing, there seems to be something fishy going on with Twitch as of late. Personally, I can see how this could be the latest method for streamers to get scammed by viewers. Since there is little in the way of protection for broadcasters such as myself, things could get ugly real quick.

What I’ve Observed

Earlier today, I watched a friend of mine on Twitch. He had a decent number of followers going on and a large number of viewers – more so than he had before. I thought he was doing exceptionally well. However, a few things began to strike me as odd.

  • The new people kept referring to him as “streamer.”
  • The new people kept asking peculiar questions about his personal habits
  • When one asked if he was doing a giveaway, he said “not yet” and then all 16 of the “viewers” left simultaneously.
  • All of the new “followers” had roughly the same number of other channels followed within 50 – which is statistically highly unlikely on Twitch.

Although this doesn’t sound like foul play in general, it did peak my curiosity. I found it incredibly odd that out of nowhere, he accumulated so many followers to meet his goal to give away free stuff. It got me thinking, what if someone is taking advantage of broadcasters in order to win free stuff to either keep or sell online? How would this work, you ask? It’s simple…like this:

  1. A stream offers to do a giveaway when he or she reaches a certain number of followers.
  2. A person floods the room with bots or logs in with a ton of fake accounts.
  3. If one person controls all of these fakes, it vastly increases his or her chances to win.
  4. The streamer unwittingly hands over free stuff to someone who cheated the system.
  5. This person would then sell the keys, codes or what ever the giveaway was for cash.

Why Am I Concerned With This?

I was just streaming World of Tanks when 100 people began to follow me while I was on my BRB screen having a cigarette – I know, I’m trying to quit. When I got back, follower after follower began to register on my screen. However, no one was on when I began playing again. I have been streaming since December and have never hit 100 follows let alone 100 in a single stream. It seems to me that someone is flooding fake accounts on Twitch for the sole purpose of winning something. I was going to do a giveaway at 100. But now, I don’t know if it’s a feasible idea. I don’t want to give the same person all of the goods and leave legitimate and dedicated viewers empty handed.

Perhaps I am just getting paranoid, but it’s extremely peculiar that none of these new followers of mine stream themselves or have bio pictures. I know not a lot of people read my blog, but I still wanted to put it out there that someone may be scamming the broadcasters for free gifts. Because Twitch doesn’t allow sub-only giveaways, this puts the criminal element in an excellent position to cheat with fake accounts watching a stream.

If I am wrong and there is another logical explanation to this, feel free to tweet to me. I am always available and welcome the input.

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Michael Brockbank

I have been playing games for more than 30 years. I wouldn’t consider myself a hard-core gamer, but I have brought the pain in my day. Now that I am rounding the horn at 40, I still enjoy everything from booting up the old Commodore 64 to exploring new titles in Steam. You’re never too old to enjoy a good plot and mind-numbing graphics.

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