A Northern Ireland YouTuber known for busting the activities of scammers across the world has been tricked by a fraudster himself.
Well-known under the pseudonym Jim Browning, he has spent years turning the tables on fraudsters at scam call centres in India, as a way of exposing their methods and educating those watching.
Browning’s videos usually see him take on the role of someone falling victim to a tech support scam, detailing to viewers the language and tactics used by scammers.
However, despite his vast experience studying scammers and even successfully hacking into a scam support call-centre in India, the man himself fell victim to a tech support scam on Monday.
Mr Browning revealed on social media the scammers convinced him to delete his YouTube account – along with his 3.2 million subscribers.
“So to prove that anyone can be scammed, I was convinced to delete my @YouTube channel because I was convinced I was talking @YouTubeCreators support,” he tweeted.
In another post on the man’s Patreon page, he added: “If you're on the ball, you'll have noticed that my YouTube channel has been deleted.
“It's the result of a scam .... Yes I fell for it.
“It only goes to prove that if you get the circumstances just right, ANYONE can fall for a scam.
“I am hoping that YouTube Support can recover the situation by 29th July and I can get the channel back, but they've not promised anything as yet. I just hope it is recoverable.
“I will make a video on how all of this went down, but suffice to say, it was pretty convincing until the very end. I hope to post a positive update soon.”
The scammers who targeted Mr Browning also left a sinister message to him suggesting they can “easily enter” accounts, adding they have already accessed “more than 12 YouTube channels”, two of which have three and six million subscribers respectively.
YouTube posted a message to Mr Browning confirming they were investigating the incident.
“Wanted to follow up to confirm that the right teams are working on this,” they added in a post in response to him.
Last year Mr Browning featured on the BBC's Panorama programme which showed his ingeniously-obtained footage of gangsters tricking people into thinking that their computers were infected with pornography before charging them small fortunes to 'repair' them.
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, he said he lives 'somewhere' in the UK but confirmed it's not Belfast and that his scam-baiting is a hobby that runs parallel to his 9 to 5 job.
"Some victims have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds and there's very little gets done about it," he said.
"I don't like people scamming others and thinking that they are completely immune.”