Be it the most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden’s death, news of Casey Anthony was acquitted, singer Amy Winehouse’s death or the horrific events in Norway… Hackers and scammers can simply be called opportunist. Tough to believe, but that’s the way it is!
Just like any news channel they are the most updated people across the globe, aware of each and every happening. With the increase in the rate of internet users or rather to be more précised, social networking site users, people curiously click on the hottest news items, especially news related to tragedy, not knowing that the links are infected, which exploit, compromise and infect your computer. As videos are especially popular lure, it’s become a trend now to post fake & so called interesting and informative videos and trap people in the scams!
These scams usually lead you to online surveys, with the scammers earning commission for each survey that victim completes. Sometimes, these links also lead to download of malware programs such as MacGuard and MacDefender, or some luring videos like ‘this is without doubt the sexiest video ever’, which may expose your personal details to the scammer without your knowledge. However, first they trick you into sharing the link with your other Facebook friends.
It is estimated that today’s scam, Oslo Bombing Video on Facebook is infecting 1 each second. A bogus post that claims to link you to a video from an Oslo security camera showing the detonation of a car bomb that took place near a Norwegian government building. Though, the reality is that there was no security camera that captured such a video. So, in case someone clicks on the link, it redirects victims off-site to a fake video player that mimics Facebook and are asked to take a survey, and then presented with an IQ test. After that, they’re asked to enter a mobile number that charges some amount per trivia question, four times per week to the victim. Oops…. That’s really bad as it makes you pay for your mistake!
Sometime back there was this Facebook Video Calling scam, a particularly extremely infectious scheme that lured users for clicking a link that spammed everyone in your friend’s list of your Facebook account. Apart from this, the other popular scams that lure victims are some non-existent Facebook features that seemed to be widely desired. To name a few are ‘dislike button’, ‘who visited my profile’ on Facebook, fake invites to Google+ and fake invitations to Google Music.
Facebook’s continuous increasing popularity attracts many users, which includes many non-computer savvy users also. And scammers take advantage of this fact. After all, why wouldn’t you trust your Facebook ‘Friends’? This explains why these social networking sites are the most desired places for spammers to target.
Many scams are difficult to spot by the IT users too! Hence it is difficult to stay safe. The only thing we can do is to try examining carefully the links. Try to trace if the video, link or the post been posted by someone you know? If not, its better, not to bother much about it! Also if some link or videos surprise you, though being posted by someone known, stay away from it. We usually know if such posts coming from our friends make sense or not!
If possible try to be updated about the Facebook Security page that keeps updating about recent threats, scams and pranks going about on Facebook along with lists of some external resources on online safety and privacy that can prove helpful and add to your knowledge as well.
Some of the links of Facebook Scams:
Tsunami Whale Video:
Disaster tsunami sends whale into building:
hxxp://stump.ws/do6ceJapans Charity Musiktitel – www.john-hawkins.net
Youtube video of Facebook worm: hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uFa3P0sLA4&feature=player_embedded
Facebook bug – “I’m awesome!”:
Osama Bin Laden Execution Video:
So, henceforth, in case you click on such creative links, posts or videos and they behave suspiciously, asking you to allow access to your profile and friend list before you are allowed view the video, first check on it on the search engines or on your favorite news related websites or blogs. In case you don’t find any match, simply quit it!