What is Mystery Brand? New Scam Site Promoted By YouTubers

MysteryBrand.net is the newest website being ripped apart by YouTubers, the media and the internet hivemind. H3H3Productions' Ethan Klein posted a video on Wednesday targeting the two main promoters of the website on YouTube: Jake Paul and Ricegum. Both Rice and Paul have a young, easily impressionable audience that is impressionable to targeted marketing. There are countless tweets and messages from their fans saying they spent real money on the site, solely because their favorite content creator implored them to.

Newsweek reached out to RiceGum's and Paul's representation, and is still awaiting comment.

What is Mystery Brand?

Taking a look at the Mystery Brand website, you see a list of "boxes" that can be opened up for a certain amount of money. There's the Apply Boy box for $14.99 that contains expensive items like a Macbook Pro and an iPhone XS along with cheap items like cables and cases. Users throw down their money and have a chance for getting both, incentivizing them to spend more money.

One of the boxes contained "The Most Expensive Los Angeles Realty" for "$250,000,000" which was available in a box, before being removed earlier in the week. The odds of getting this were 0.0000018 percent, so you are more likely to get eaten by a shark and struck by lightning. Odds were removed from the site entirely on Tuesday.

The site seems to be located in Poland, with the Terms of Service being translated from Polish before being posted in English. In the ToS, Mystery Brand says that they will "invalidate all the operations that were carried out by a person who has not attained the age of majority and to refuse to issue a winning product without any refund of spend value." If you fell for this (or convinced your parents to pay for it), you aren't entitled to your items.

Even if you are of age, "during using the services of the website You may encounter circumstances in which Your won items will not be received," the ToS reads.

The layout of the website and the gambling game itself bares a huge resemblance to the Counter Strike gambling websites pushed out by YouTubers in 2015 and 2016. Players could spend real money on crates that contained virtual knife or gun skins ranging from incredibly valuable to utter garbage. One of the sites was CSGoLotto, which caused controversy when it came to light that the owners of the site, Trevor "TmarTn" Martin and Thomas "Syndicate" Cassell, were also promoting the game without notifying users.

Newsweek reached out to Mystery Brands but is still awaiting comment.

Is Mystery Brand a Scam?

It's fairly clear that putting money inside MysteryBrand.net is a risk. The site is essentially gambling, with no promise that you will ever get your product or money back. Calling it a full-on "scam" is still up for debate, but others online are attempting to prove that it is. Twitter user @heyimjoqueef dug around inside the website and it's conjoined monetary partner, G2A. In a Twitlonger, the user explains that G2A (a marketplace where users can sell video games) was allowing users to purchase $100 gift cards for Mystery Brand.

These reviews weren't just for Mystery Brand; they were also for Galaxy Drop and TOPCSCARD. These sites functioned the same way as Mystery Brand, but were seen as scams by YouTubers and the community. It seems like G2A was selling gift cards for these past sites and just shifted over to Mystery Brands sometime in late 2018. These reviews have been removed from the site, but have been archived.

Update: G2A Cuts Ties With Mystery Brand Over Scam Controversy

Why Are YouTubers Promoting Mystery Brand?

One of the biggest shocks in this whole scandal is how unapologetic Jake Paul is about promoting the site. In a response to h3h3's video, Jake Paul tweeted "lol love this", which confused Klein.

Keemstar, owner of YouTube rumor channel DramaAlert, said that Mystery Brand offered him $100,000 for sponsored content. Jake Paul and RiceGum are both pulling in a fraction of views compared to what they were just a year ago, so this money might have been to good to pass up.

A YouTube spokesperson told Newsweek that "YouTube believes that creators should be transparent with their audiences if their content includes paid promotion of any kind. Our policies make it clear that YouTube creators are responsible for ensuring their content complies with local laws, regulations and YouTube Community Guidelines. If content is found to violate these policies, we take action to ensure the integrity of our platform, which can include removing content."

Mystery Brands and the videos still remain up, but this story will be updated if more information is revealed.