A spider under the skin? It's a Facebook survey scam

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks, Spam

SpiderEveryone knows that a fear of spiders is arachnophobia.

Maybe it's time that we had an official word for a dislike of Facebook survey scams too? There are certainly plenty of people over on the Naked Security page on Facebook who are fed to the back teeth with the scams that spread virally across the social network, tricking users into taking surveys and earning the scammers money.

Here's the latest - which claims to be a disgusting video of a spider under someone's skin.

A spider under the skin Facebook scam

A spider under the skin!
[LINK]
Omg so disgusting :s

Other versions can read:

O-M-G - Spider Grows Under Skin - Crazy!
[LINK]
Totally Crazy and just a little gross. But still Amazing!

and

GROSS! Spider grows under her skin
[LINK]

and

That's s0 Gr0ss! Sp!der Und3r Sk1n
[LINK]

and

This spider is brutal..
[LINK]
OMG - Spider inside the skin of this girl, extremely painful !

Clicking on the link takes you to a webpage which pretends that it is about to show you the video, but insists that you verify your age first.

A spider under the skin Facebook scam

However, clicking "Jaa" doesn't confirm your age at all. It actually shares the message about the spider with your other Facebook friends ("Jaa" is the Finnish word for "Share", and there has been a trend lately with survey scams to use this subterfuge).

If you make the mistake of sharing the link with your online pals, you will then be taken to a survey, overlaid over a pretend YouTube page.

A spider under the skin Facebook scam

The scammers earn commission for each survey completed, but they don't want to tell you that as it may make you more reluctant to participate. Instead they fraudulently pretend that it is a YouTube age verification dialog.

If you got hit by this scam, make sure you have removed the entries from your news feed (to stop them being shared amongst your friends) and check your profile does not have any unwanted "Likes" under your "Likes and interests".

If you use Facebook and want to get an early warning about the latest attacks, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 100,000 people.

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40 Responses to A spider under the skin? It's a Facebook survey scam

  1. My suggestion for the "official" word for these survey scams: "Sharecrow".

    ~EdT.

  2. Brian Lavoie · 1201 days ago

    People are stupid to believe these things. They obviously don't look legit.

  3. Daniel Lane · 1201 days ago

    Just spotted this on a friends post, i have directed them to this web page for details on removal...I'm so glad i joined this little community

  4. james · 1201 days ago

    i think the ones doing this should go to jail

  5. There's another form that uses umbers and punctuation in the place of letters.

    That's s0 Gr0ss! Sp!der Und3r Sk1n
    gallys.rk.com
    That's s0 Gr0ss! Sp!der Und3r Sk1n

    I reported it to Facebook as spam.

  6. Wendy · 1201 days ago

    This link actually takes you to a porn site. I found this on my 14 year old's fb page. When I clicked on it, it directed me to porn sites.

  7. Bradley · 1200 days ago

    I graduated from high school 30 years ago. Public schools seem to teach youth how not to think for themselves. They are so "unlearned" they are apt to believe anything!

    • Lee · 1195 days ago

      What in the world does that have to do with anything? There are shows like 'Monsters Inside Me' and documented cases of various things that do get inside of peoples' skin. This particular scam has nothing to do with how well educated someone is. Just their interests.

      Heck, I bet a bunch of scientists (generally pretty smart people) would be more likely to get fooled by this than your average Joe.

      • jamie · 1194 days ago

        i agree with you that somone more educated would be more likely to push that. on my face book is a bunch of nurses and nursing students... we all fell for it. i think its just the intrest of seeing if that could actually happen. i didnt really believe that it was a spider under there but i needed to see how fake it was. i dont know .

    • Guest · 1195 days ago

      Personally, I disagree with you. Today's youth are much more savvy than the scores of older adults trying to fit in a technologically advanced society. "Unlearned"? You have obviously not stepped into a classroom recently.

      • Amanda · 1194 days ago

        well its not just about believing a lot of people just want to see it. Like sci-fi movies.

  8. P.M. · 1200 days ago

    When I clicked on the photo up popped a survey.
    When I clicked on the writing up poped a survey.
    When I clicked on the fake you-tube link a very hard core porn page popped up !
    Not for children or the feint of heart !

  9. mickeysix · 1200 days ago

    just out of curiosity, why does the spider in the picture have 10 legs?

    • JBsrox · 1195 days ago

      Because it's an "idiot spider"! Only idiots will fall for it and click on it. Either that or because it's a "Flakebook" spider - where else would they exist?

    • So that you would click on it!

    • Vasquez · 1195 days ago

      Some species of male spiders have 2 extra long appendages on the front of them to help latch on to females for mating. Almost like "arms."

      Well, all male spiders have them but some are bigger than others.

      :)

    • Josh · 1194 days ago

      8 legs + 2 Pedipalps = spider looks like it has ten legs

    • Tim · 1194 days ago

      Eight legs, Two pedipalps

    • Taylor Wilson · 1194 days ago

      Those extra legs are pedipalps, or "feelers," which are common among chelicerates.

    • co3 · 1194 days ago

      because he is fake? :)

  10. Brittany · 1195 days ago

    i commented on it and told everyone "I didn't post this. It's a survey Scam!!!!! don't click on it. Time for a password change" and I copied and pasted this link to it.

  11. annyt · 1195 days ago

    I'm put off by spiders anyway but couldn't figure out why I was especially creeped out by the spider in that picture. Then I realized it has 10 legs! What kind of freaky science-experiment-gone-wrong-clip art-horrorshow did you guys get that thing from?!

  12. Jaxon · 1195 days ago

    I looked at a friend's post, realized it was shady, and backed out. Must've misclicked as I found that there was a share on my page too. Deleted immediately. Checking my profile now and fixin to change my password. Bastards...

  13. kkkk · 1195 days ago

    I still wanna see the damn spider.

  14. Flakeness · 1195 days ago

    the fake names are funny.

  15. I clicked this link and it automatically shared it on my page, my AVG blocked a threat and quarantined it as soon as I clicked it so for anyone who has clicked it, I think you should run a virus check just in case. I removed the link from my page and reported it as spam. I don't usually fall for these things, but I really like gross shit :/

  16. Odean · 1195 days ago

    I clicked on the little "X" to "report as spam", and then went to "file a more detailed report", and then Facebook popped up a message of it's own. "You do not have sufficient permissions to do that", is what the "error message" said. I filed a bug report, w/ a screen shot to FB. I've file many detailed spam reports, and have never seen this one before that stops me from doing so.

    I'm curious if this is Facebook telling me to stop filing them, or something else.

  17. Elf · 1195 days ago

    I told everyone on my facebook to follow Sophos because everyone keeps clicking on spider under skin type scams and no one did.

    Within in the next ten minutes another three people clicked on the scam.

    IGNORAMUS.

  18. Dee · 1195 days ago

    You can report it as 'spam'...But it seems you cannot leave a more 'detailed report'...

    It claims that you 'Dont Have Permission' when you click 'detailed report'...People are reporting this on FB already...I just checked and its true. It wont allow you to make a more 'detailed report'..

  19. Adam · 1195 days ago

    If you want to see the spider go and google search it. LoL. Ive just found this group as i wanted to see it too. Ive now posted it on my wall for others to join.

  20. Tricia · 1194 days ago

    So, explain to me why I clicked on the "dad dropped daughter to catch baseball" video off my friends feed (it looked legit with her comment about it) and the dumb "spider video" page opened up. I immediately clicked out of it, didn't click any survey or "jaa". Nothing. So why did the dumb spider video immediately pop up on my wall?! I deleted it. Is there anything else I need to do?

  21. Chrissi · 1194 days ago

    thats strange as l clicked the link about 2 -4 weeks ago and got no surveys no age verification and no fake U tube page. I must have been one of the lucky ones.

    There are 2 different ones. This one and one with a red t shirt and on the stomach area is a red patch with what looks like a pencil, or something with a point on it, being poked at the red patch.

  22. Judy · 1194 days ago

    They changed the scam a little. Now the video is supposedly for a dad who drops his daughter to catch a baseball on live tv. That really did happen, so more people think that is a legitimate link/video. But it posts the spider under the skin video link when the person clicks on it.

  23. wadalisi lance · 1194 days ago

    I have some friends who are claiming this is a virus. My virus detector did not find a virus on my computer. My computer appears to be working like always. I do know it is a scam and that it is trying to gather all our information. All I have to say is go for it because my face book page is all about my daughter and she is deceased. I do not store or place any thing that has to do with bank accounts or anything similar to this on my computer.

  24. Mel · 1194 days ago

    it doesn't have 10 legs, the two "legs" in front are called pedipalps. spiders use them like we use hands.

  25. diptimanta barooah · 1193 days ago

    The spider appeared no my page 24hrs back. I didn't click because it was stupid and I had other things to do. 4hrs later one friend warned us not to click.

  26. Carl · 1120 days ago

    The Finnish word "jaa" means "yes."
    The Finnish word "jakaa" means "share."

    Graham Cluely might be a respected and well liked security blogger, but he's failed here at translation from Finnish to English.

    By the way, "hämähäkki" is Finnish for "spider."

  27. Lou · 1117 days ago

    I accidentally clicked on the spider video and it reposted on my facebook page, i just deleted the post... but im looking at the "liked pages" on my profile and i cant seem to get the link off as there is no way to unlike it. - anyone else know what i mean? - how do i get rid of it?

  28. Ming · 1116 days ago

    I deleted the spider under skin scam scam video post on my wall but it went into my profile activities & interest page and cannot be deleted. There is no delete button and cannot be deleted using the keyboard delete key. Can any one let me know how to delete this ?

  29. Rhea · 1080 days ago

    They are at it again with this pimple thing showing a HUGE pimple on the back of some guys neck. Same horrible looking thing like that one on the girls stomach. It's going around again. When will people really look at what they are posting OR check it out.

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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.