Right now there is a video hosted on YouTube that is part of a real estate scam.
How do I know this? Because the real estate scam uses my company’s name, and someone emailed me a complaint.
The scam works by posting an advertisement online offering an apartment in a great location at a low rental rate. If you respond you are asked to send two or three months rent/bond and promised the keys once the money is received. Of course the apartment doesn’t exist, and you will never see the keys. Or your money for that matter.
So I tried to alert YouTube to this legal problem, but because my company’s name does not appear in the video I alerted them to a scam. I sent my email in English. For some reason I got two responses in Dutch. Fine. I responded to one explaining that the video was part of a fraud, and attaching the original complaint email.
I got another answer in Dutch, telling me that YouTube has developed a number of channels where I can report an issue with a video. The option most closely matching my question is “For other potential abuse or security issues please visit our Abuse and Safety Center”
So I click on that option, which takes me to a set of country links… but only five countries. Which is weird, but the underlying information is about what spam/phishing are, than any tool to allow me to report an issue.
So I’ve tried twice to alert YouTube to a video that is part of a fraud, but it does not appear that a real person has read the emails or certainly no action has been taken. Meanwhile the video has got another two hundred views.
Of course I am taking responsibility for resolving this because there is a reputational issue for my company, but how can I get YouTube to take responsibility for what is also a reputational issue for them?
And for the 900+ viewers of the video, how many of them will lose money before YouTube wakes up and takes action?
post script one week later; video still there with 1322 views
post script one month later; video still there with 1705 views
post script June 2013; video still there with 1948 views, reporting system improved and incident reported once again.
post script September 2013; video still there with 2499 views, reporting system improved and incident reported once again. YouTube say 24 hour review. I’ve been trying this for almost a year.