bill-swift - March 17, 2012
A lot of hackers and scammers have taken advantage of Facebook by using the social network as a platform for some of their most ingenious (and sometimes downright stupid) scams. One such scam, dubbed as "Do You Remember This Photo?", tricks users into clicking a link by offering a partial image that they are said to have seen before. The photo doesn't exist and the people who click on the link get their accounts compromised in the process.
Another scam that's not so far off from the one described earlier is one I'd like to call the California Rollercoaster Accident Video scam. In this setup, scammers post links on the walls of Facebook users that supposedly lead to a video of an accident that happened at some theme park in California. As you might have already guessed, the accident never happened and there was no cover-up in the media.
Some versions of the scam come with captions that read: "Rollercoaster Accident in California!" or "HORRIFIC Roller Coaster Accident! In Universal Studios.." Some change the location of the accident to the UK or Australia: "OMG! Theme Park accident in Alton Towers United Kingdom Rollercoaster Accident in United Kingdom Check this @:" or "HORRIFIC! - Summertime Theme Park Australia" or "OMG! - Theme Park accident in Universal Studios Hollywood."
Once the link is clicked, users are taken to a page that follows Facebook's design, asking them to fill out a survey, get a premium mobile phone service, or buy some pills (what kind of pills, we don't know.) The scammers get commissions from referring you to these survey sites or shady online retailers, which means they earn thousands of dollars while you waste your time or inadvertently share your personal information to these con artists.
So a word of caution: never click links to content that sounds suspicious or outrageous on Facebook or on any other site for that matter. Always check the URL on your browser before logging in to any accounts and make sure to report any scams to Facebook Security if you spot any.
Article by Hazel Chua
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