Twitter spammers entice clicks with free iTunes gift cards

Filed Under: Social networks, Spam, Twitter

In the past we've seen iTunes gift card scams spread via Facebook, and fake iTunes Gift Card certificates containing malware spammed out to email inboxes, but today the thing to look out for is iTunes Gift Card spam on Twitter.

Here are some typical messages:

iTunes gift card spam tweets

i have got,get yrs free iTunes Gift Card giveaway today [LINK]

wow,iTunes Gift Card got just today free lol [LINK]

awesome lol,today got iTunes Gift Card [LINK]

Your Chance to choose Your Best iTunes Gift Card [LINK]

Find out how to get a iTunes Gift Card! [LINK]

All of the Twitter accounts I've seen sending out these messages, have a profile picture of a young woman (sometimes wearing skimpy clothes or a bikini - one has to wonder where they're going to stash their iPod).

And, on closer examination, it appears that these Twitter users have been created purely for the purposes of spamming out these tweets, interspersed with the occasional random quote or saying.

So, what happens if you click on the link? Well, you visit a website which firstly attempts to work out where in the world you are. I'm writing this from the UK, and it decided to relay my web browser to a dating website for men who want to meet young Russian women.

Russian dating website

No sign of any free iTunes gift cards there, you'll notice. Clearly the spammers are just using the lure of a free iTunes gift card to entice unsuspecting Twitter users into visiting their sites.

if you click on a link offering you a free iTunes Gift Card and end up with a Russian bride, you're definitely doing something wrong.

It's unlikely you're in the market for a Russian bride, but even if you are - I wouldn't recommend clicking on the links. They could just as easily take you to a webpage containing malware, or a site which attempts to phish your passwords from you.

Instead, report any users who you see spewing out messages like this as spammers. That means they won't be able to bother you in future, and Twitter will investigate whether their account should be deleted.

Report Twitter spammer

Of course, it's easy to create a brand new account on Twitter - so the spam problem on Twitter is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

If you want to be kept up-to-date on the latest security threats on Twitter and elsewhere on the net, follow me on Twitter.


Twitter spammers entice clicks with free iTunes gift cards

Hat-tip: Thanks to Naked Security reader @Chasapple for first making me aware of this spam campaign.

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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.