Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, or never listen to pop radio, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Justin Bieber. He’s a 16 year-old Canadian singer that blasted to immense popularity by using YouTube to promote himself. He has released such classics hits as: “One Time”, “One Less Lonely Girl”, “Favorite Girl”, “Love Me” and the about to be a hit “Never Say Never” with Jaden Smith (Will and Jada’s kid) for the new Karate Kid movie. The point of all of this is that Justin is the pop flavor of the minute/day/month/year. Which makes him an obvious icon to be used by cyber criminals around the world.
These bad guys are using the fact that Justin is way popular to lure kids into downloading malware and to sites where personal information will be collected quite illegally and then re-sold to the so-called criminal element. It’s not that these cyber criminals like or dislike Justin’s music. They are exploiting his name and image to scam the public. Getting unsuspecting kids to sign up for Justin Bieber items can be a way of stealing one’s identity. And fake offers for Justin Bieber merchandise can result in stolen credit card numbers. All in all, we estimate tens of millions of dollars from so called Bieber fraud this year alone.
This use of a celebrity’s name and popularity for evil purposes is what we call the Justin Bieber effect. In olden times (a few years ago) this could have been called the Michael Jackson effect or the Madonna effect. So what this should mean for you is that all fans of (fill in the name of the artist) should be careful not to go to artist themed websites that look suspicious. They should avoid emails that offer them free (fill in the name of the artist) stuff. And they should be wary of social network groups that invite them to be fans of you guessed it (fill in the name of the artist).
At BlueCava we’re doing something about this too. Our patented device identification platform fights cybercrime by helping to identify the bad guys (their computers actually) that are trying to defraud the public. We’re partnering with organizations all over the planet to help fight cybercrime. Take a bite out of cybercrime so to speak. We may be too old to appreciate Justin Bieber’s music, but we want to make the world safe for music fans of all ages. Believe it or not, we were young once too.
Ironically, the use of Justin Bieber’s name, that’s right, Justin Bieber is useful for this blog as well. The term Justin Bieber should help this post get higher prominence in organic search rankings. In our view the use of the term Justin Bieber can be used for good as well as evil.
By Dean Harris, CMO of BlueCava