Don’t Get Caught in the Barbie Scam: Safeguard Yourself After the Movie Release

The Barbie movie has hit the big screen, and fans are excited to see their beloved doll come to life in a cinematic adventure. However, with its soaring popularity, scammers are seizing the opportunity to exploit unsuspecting individuals. Researchers at McAfee have identified a surge in Barbie-related malware instances, reflecting cybercriminals’ tactics to capitalize on the movie’s hype. In this blog, we’ll delve into the dangers of the Barbie scam and provide essential tips to protect yourself from falling victim to these malicious schemes.

The Barbie Scam: A Growing Threat

According to McAfee researchers, in the past three weeks, they have encountered approximately 100 new instances of malware with Barbie-related filenames. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the movie’s popularity, betting that people will click on malicious files due to the trending Barbie name. The types of files vary, including .html and .exe, with a particular focus on targeting users in the United States, though other countries have also fallen victim to these scams.

Exploiting Popular Topics for Malicious Intent

Scammers have always been quick to exploit popular topics to distribute their nefarious schemes, and the Barbie movie release is no exception. Steve Grobman, McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer, warns that attackers are using various methods, including bogus downloads of the film that install malware, Barbie-related viruses, and fake videos advertising free tickets that, in reality, lead to links stealing personal information with spyware.

Tips to Avoid Falling for Barbie Scams

Stick with Trusted Retailers and Streamers: To ensure a safe online shopping and viewing experience, stick to known, reputable brands. Trusted retailers carry legitimate merchandise, and even if counterfeit goods slip through, refund policies can help recover losses. Additionally, trusted streaming platforms only offer shows and events that they have the rights to, so avoid any heavily discounted or “free” streaming offers that seem suspicious.

Purchase Tickets from Authorized Sources: Be cautious when buying movie tickets online, as scammers often open bogus online box offices that charge for tickets without delivering them. Always purchase tickets directly from the theater chain or through reputable online movie ticketing apps available on Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

Watch for Shoddy-Looking Sites: Scam sites can vary in sophistication, but some may look legitimate at first glance. Look out for signs of poor web design, typos, and grammatical errors, as these often indicate a scam site. Reputable companies prioritize providing a clean and professional online experience.


As the Barbie movie gains popularity, scammers are using the hype to distribute malicious schemes, endangering unsuspecting users. By staying vigilant and following the tips provided by McAfee, you can protect yourself from falling prey to the Barbie scam. Be cautious of suspicious links, stick with trusted retailers and streamers, purchase tickets from authorized sources, and watch for telltale signs of shoddy websites. Don’t let cybercriminals tarnish your movie experience or compromise your personal information. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy the magical world of Barbie responsibly.


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