Miley Cyrus smoking a bong video hides Facebook survey scam

Filed Under: Facebook, Rogue applications, Social networks, Spam

The survey scammers just won't stop, will they?

Here's the latest one that some Facebook users have fallen for, believing that a friend is sharing with them a video of pop star Miley Cyrus taking drugs. The surfeit of scams involving Miley Cyrus is making me believe that for cybercriminals she's the new Paris Hilton (who was, herself, the new Britney Spears).

Firstly, you see a message posted by one of your Facebook friends, looking something like this:

OMG Miley Cyrus is caught smoking a BONG on video

The messages are usually a variant of:

OMG Miley Cyrus is caught smoking a BONG on video [LINK]

If you do click on the link you are taken to a webpage which works hard to make you believe that you are going to see some sensational video footage of Miley Cyrus doing something that she probably shouldn't be doing..

See Miley Cyrus smoking a bong here now!

Venturing further is where the problems really begin, as you'll be asked to give permission for a rogue application - written by a third party that you don't know from Adam - to peruse your Facebook profile and be able to post messages onto your wall.

I can't say this loud enough - when you see an application asking permission to do something like this, I want you to have a long hard think. Because this is your last chance to stop the bad guys' dead in their tracks.

But if you do agree to grant the permission, you'll be taken to an online survey (part of the CPALead network) which earns money for the scammers through affiliate revenue. Underneath the survey is something which purports to be a video of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong - but frankly, why would you want to watch such a thing?

Miley Cyrus survey

Because while you're completing the survey, and earning the scammers some money, their rogue application has posted the link onto your wall, sharing it with your friends and thus perpetuating the scam even more. Do you really want to be part of their spam organisation? I didn't think so..

Furthermore, surveys like this can scoop up your personal information, or trick you out of your mobile phone number - signing you up for expensive cellphone services. Not fun at all.

If you've been hit by a scam like this, remove references to it from your newsfeed, and revoke the right of rogue applications to access your profile via Account/ Privacy Settings/ Applications and Websites.

Here's a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account:

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

And don't forget to warn your friends about scams like this and teach them not to trust every link that is placed in front of them. You can learn more about security threats by joining the thriving community on the Sophos Facebook page.

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8 Responses to Miley Cyrus smoking a bong video hides Facebook survey scam

  1. Greylines · 1376 days ago

    Tell ya what. I'd definitely be interested in seeing a breakdown of FB scam victims by age, gender and location.

  2. chimi changa · 1375 days ago

    well let me tell you
    if people do the surveys
    whose fault is it?
    and if they choose to click on it, whose fault is it?
    people are willing to do this shit, just let em be
    and stop cock blocking the poor scammers/spammers w/e you want to call them
    they just want to make some money like everyone else
    and about spreading your personal information
    well give me a break, facebook has all your private information
    that they freely share with whoever pays them
    so stop being hypocrates

  3. sonya · 1375 days ago

    I just left that page...and it want access to your basic to even to view...so im okay...then when i got to the page...it asked u to do 5 surveys...im like this is crazy to watch a video...i immediately logged off and google to the topic and this is what i found....i figure it was a scam...thank for the info...

  4. Sarah Zahavi · 1374 days ago

    Chimi Changa you're of course being sarcastic aren't you?

  5. CPAlead Scams

  6. Anon · 1176 days ago

    there is a bong video, I've seen it, although its only a legal high. Think it might be on youtube or something

  7. nana · 1044 days ago

    all scamers go to hell!!! what makes you enjoy are the things that destroys other people's lives! God knows who are you and be scared coz karma comes in silence!!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.