Watch out for bogus YouTube Music Key emails!

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Music keyPardon my ignorance (maybe I missed the ad?) but I wasn’t previously aware that Google had introduced a way of listening to music ad-free in the form of YouTube Music Key.

That all changed, however, when I received this spam email message, claiming that my six-month trial was over and that I was about to be charged almost ten euros a month:

Youtube music key spam

Part of the email reads:

Thanks again for subscribing to YouTube Music Key. Your free 6-month trial has ended, and you’ll be charged € 9.77/month starting today. Your receipt for your first payment is below.

It’s easy to imagine, though, how the red mist could rise in some folks’ eyes as they imagine they are about to be charged for a service they don’t use, and weren’t ever aware that they had signed up, and that they might click on the links without taking proper care.

Because, of course, the links don’t go to a Google or YouTube webpage. And what lurks at the other end could be a phishing page, or a webpage hosting malicious code or a drive-by download.

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You simply don’t know until you click on it. But you *can* hover your mouse over the link and tell if it’s going to take you directly to Google/YouTube or not.

If more people applied a little caution, rather than letting outrage drive their mouse-clicking, the internet would surely be a safer place.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

6 comments on “Watch out for bogus YouTube Music Key emails!”

  1. Xane M.

    About the last part…one problem I have with most e-mails sent by a website and not a person is that you can't tell where any link leads by highlighting it; It's always some giant hash-like number-letter thing instead of displaying the webpage where the user will be sent.

  2. David

    The message I got recently was very similar. It went directly into my spam inbox:

    Subscription Receipt: YouTube MusicKey

    User ID XXX

    Thanks again for subscribing to YouTube MusicKey. Your free 12-months trial has ended, and you'll be charged £18.99/month starting today.

    Order details

    Order number: 47182260
    Receipt date: 5/6/2020


    Title Price


    YouTube MusicKey – Subscription £15.29

    Paid with: ****-****-****-**** Total £18.99 (Includes VAT £3.7)


    For details about your subscription, visit Manage Subscriptions on your account.

    If you do not want to continue your subscription to YouTube MusicKey, please go to MusicKey Subscription Cancellation & Refund <LINK> in your account.

    Thank you.
    YouTube Support

  3. Lori

    I just received the same type of email ending a 12 month free trial. I'm so glad I found this article as I was checking YouTube subs and then Googled Music Key as I never heard of it.

  4. Heather

    My daughter just received an email today saying it was a subscription receipt for Amazon MusicKey for £25.29! Article still very relevant and helpful. Thank you

  5. Steve

    I've just had the same from "[email protected]" Thank you for sharing this information as am sure many could be easily scammed.

  6. Sue

    I had an email in my trash saying they are from amazon ( small a) saying that my subscription had run out for Musickey and the have changed me £29/97 to continue,the money is pending in my bank account, I have rung Amazon and it’s not from them, I have rung my bank and told them about it and also told fraud people, they cannot stop the money going out but will good will the amount to me, they have blocked my card and sending me a new one and blocked this scammer, I have also changed my details on Amazon,

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