A YouTube channel I subscribe to was recently hacked. The owner just eclipsed the 100k subscriber mark and received an authentic looking email about the 100k subscriber plaque. He followed the directions in the email without realizing it was a phishing scheme and he subsequently lost control of his channel.
The owner of the channel was hitting many roadblocks while trying to contact YouTube to get someone to advocate for him. I too searched for advice on his behalf, but I kept coming across the same community pages with no real guidance or solution. After about a week went by I used my YouTube channel to contact Creator Support via their email feedback form. Within about a day I received an email from someone who understood the issue and was able to provide useful help.
The trick to getting your YouTube channel back is a secret contact form called Send an email to our support team to report potential account hijacking that is only available to YouTube Creators that are part of the YouTube Partner program. This is the long way of saying that only monetized YouTube channels can access this special form and get the fast track to YouTube Creator Support for hacked accounts.
The form you need to fill out to recover your stolen/hacked YouTube account is here: https://support.google.com/youtube/contact/report_youtube_hijacking
There are 3 pieces of critical information you need to collect before filling out that form, YouTube asks for a lot of information up front so they can quickly investigate the matter and return your channel to you. Here are the pieces of information:
- YouTube Channel ID
- ID of Adsense account you associated with your YT channel
- New YouTube Brand Account ID
I will walk you through how to obtain these 3 pieces of information.
YouTube Channel ID
This is not your YouTube username or Channel name, this is a unique ID that does not change and is used internally to track your Channel. The easiest way for you to find this is to go to Socialblade.com and search for your YouTube channel. When you find your channel in the search results, your channel ID will appear in light colored text to the right of your channel name:
In the screenshot above you can see my channel ID is UCOLSDV-BG5Sg1SZRxntQK7Q
Google Adsense ID
To obtain your Google Adsense ID, you need to login to your Google Adsense account. Go to https://google.com/adsense and login, make sure you have ad blocking turned off or you may encounter an error logging in. Once you’ve logged into adsense, you will need to click on Account, then Account Information on the left side:
On the page shown to the right, you will see several IDs: Publisher ID and Customer ID. The Publisher ID is used for embedded ad code in your web pages, the Customer ID is a confidential ID sort of like your Social Security Number. The information bubble for Publisher ID specifically says this number may be used when communicating with Google. Use the Publisher ID for ID of Adsense account you associated with your YT channel on the contact form.
New YouTube Brand Account ID
The last critical piece of information you need is a new YouTube Brand Account ID. When YouTube was created, every account was a channel, but as the business of creating YouTube content grew, people needed to create multiple channels and to manage existing channels with teams of people. A YouTube Brand account is a channel, but it is an entity which can be managed in a collaborative way. To create a new YouTube Brand Account ID, you simply need to login to YouTube and go to this URL: https://www.youtube.com/channel_switcher
Below is a screenshot of the channel switcher page:
On the right side is a Brand Account I created called DoubleSigma, this is a secondary channel/account connected to my primary YouTube account. To create a new Brand Account, click on the Create an new channel box on the left, then follow the prompts. You do not need to customize this channel yet, just create it. Once you’ve created a new Brand Account, you need to switch to your newly created Brand Account. This is done by clicking on Switch Account in the user menu on the upper right:
When you click that, you will see another menu pop-up like this:
Select your new Brand Account.
Next you need to go to your Channel settings, click on the round user icon in the upper left, then click on Settings:
Next click on Advanced Settings on the left menu:
After clicking Advanced settings, you will see a few fields on the right, the one you are interested in is Channel ID:
Click the COPY link to copy your New Brand Account ID to the clipboard and paste it in to the New Brand Account ID field of the contact form.
The rest of the contact form contains less critical information that is best effort rather than required. Hopefully this article helps you recover your channel quickly!