In the early hours of yesterday morning (July 6), Billie Eilish appeared to go live on TikTok, answering questions and interacting with fans. But, on closer inspection, everything wasn’t what it seemed: Eilish wasn’t responding to the specific comments under the video, and her profile wasn’t verified. In fact, it was coming from a profile with the handle @billieeilishlive_1 – a scammer account that was replaying one of Eilish’s old Instagram live videos.
What’s the point of doing that, I hear you cry. In short, to trick TikTok users into sending gifts to ‘Eilish’ via the platform’s in-app tipping system – gifts that can be converted into real money by the recipient.
According to Mashable, those who stayed until the end of the livestream may have cottoned on to the scam – when the video ended and Eilish said goodbye, the entire livestream started again, indicating that it was pre-recorded. However, for many it was too late – they’d already sent coins, roses, and tips worth real money.
Anyone over the age of 18 can send gifts to someone during a livestream; first, they have to buy coins, which range in price from $0.99 to $99, and then exchange them for virtual gifts of different values. At the end of the livestream, the person who went live will receive diamonds based on the popularity of their video, which they can then transfer to IRL funds.
Speaking to Mashable about the scam, a TikTok spokesperson said: “Our community expects an authentic and entertaining experience, and we work hard to maintain that by identifying and removing behaviour that violates our Community Guidelines. We continue to invest in strengthening our detection and prevention mechanisms to minimise the potential for this behaviour to flourish on our platform.”
This isn’t the first time Eilish has fallen victim to this scam. Last month (June 24), an old video was livestreamed from a TikTok account called @billielivehere, tricking thousands of unknowing users into sending gifts. Snopes reports that the clip was in fact a livestream from January 27, and, like yesterday’s clip, started replaying after the ‘livestream’ had ended.
In real Billie Eilish news, the singer has a new track, titled “NDA”, coming out on Friday (July 9). It’s the fifth single to arrive from her forthcoming second album, Happier Than Ever, which is slated for release on July 30.
Watch a clip from the fake livestream below.
There’s a fake Billie Eilish TikTok livestream with 25k viewers right now