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:
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..
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?
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.Follow @gcluley