Is Spotify a Scam: Don’t Let the Internet Fraudsters Fool You
Spotify is a Swedish streaming service that has turned the music industry upside down. Today the company has more than 200 million users, and its market value has reached $34 billion.
The Spotify idea started with the hypothesis that piracy could be stopped by making it easier for people to legally access music. Since the founders, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, were well versed in internet services, they quickly figured out a way to make a legal music platform. According to their idea, the business model was supposed to pay off the rental of rights and provide income to copyright holders. Users would receive basic functionality (listening to music online) for free, as well as occasional advertisements, which they could disable for a small monthly fee. It also included some premium features, such as downloading tracks.
Spotify was launched on October 7, 2008. Initially, the service was available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Today Spotify is used monthly by 209 million people in 79 countries.
Is Spotify a Scam?
Being a very successful and popular streaming service, Spotify became an instrument for scammers to steal its users’ information.
Email Phishing Scams
Scammers have begun sending iPhone owners emails saying they have purchased a one-year Spotify subscription. After that, people would go to a fake Apple website through which criminals steal their data.
The scam targets gullible Apple customers who want to cancel their subscriptions. To do this, they must follow the link that is indicated in the letter. Naturally, it does not lead to the actual Apple website, but to a copy of it. After entering the username and password, the data is sent to scammers.
Obviously, such letters have nothing to do with Spotify. If you get any suspicious letter, check the email address and never go through URLs of the links that are indicated in the letter.
Scammers are targeting Spotify users with many different phishing schemes. For example, the attackers sent their victims fake but highly persuasive emails with links to a malicious website. The website displays a login and password form that is identical to the actual Spotify login page. After the user fills out the form, the credentials are sent straight to the scammer’s hands. However, it is not that hard to spot a scam. First, the spotify scam email address does not match the actual Spotify address, and second, the URL contained in the email has nothing to do with the Spotify domain.
Spotify Royalty Scam
Not only regular Spotify users can become victims of a scam. A lot of independent artists suffer from fraudulent users buying fake streams. It is implemented through illegal bots and click-farms. Using such a scheme, a Bulgarian playlist-maker scammed Spotify for $1 million out of the royalty pool. Spotify uses a so-called “shared pool” model, splitting all income between the musicians. Which means fraudulent artists are stealing money from honest independent musicians.
Luckily, Spotify keeps developing their algorithm to be able to catch fraudulent streamers and deactivate their accounts.
Shallow Spotify Scam
Another famous example is the Shallow Spotify scam. ‘Shallow” is a song from a Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper movie “A Star Is Born”. Scammers were spreading a rumor that streaming “Shallow” would get them a chance to win a free Spotify Premium subscription. In addition, if you screenshot yourself streaming “Shallow” on Spotify, you can get a free Starbucks drink. Of course, all these promises were false.
For the United States, Spotify has become a revolutionary service. For many years, the country’s market was dominated by Apple iTunes, where you could buy individual tracks, and the Pandora service, which did not allow users to choose which track to listen to. The Swedes proposed a different model which involved letting users pay for a monthly subscription, select songs from a catalog, and listen to as much music as they want.
Such a format used to cause a lot of controversy, but now everyone has agreed that music streaming is firmly established in our lives. It also provides artists of all sizes a platform through which they can promote their music.
However, you should always stay alert as such successful businesses always attract fraudsters who won’t pass the chance to steal your personal information. Read our blog and stay safe online.
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