Theme Park accident video used as bait by Facebook viral scammers

It’s a sad reflection on society when scammers find a successful way of tricking people into clicking on their links is to offer them a video of a rollercoaster accident.

This weekend Facebook users have seen their online friends seemingly pass around links claiming to point to video footage of theme park accidents in either Alton Towers in the UK, Summertime Theme Park Australia, or Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Theme Park accident message on Facebook

OMG! Theme Park accident in Alton Towers United Kingdom

Rollercoaster Accident in United Kingdom
Check this @: [LINK]
This has just been leaked!

Other versions read:

HORRIFIC! - Summertime Theme Park Australia ACCIDENT! - 89% Cant Watch It Rollercoaster Accident in Australia


OMG! - Theme Park accident in Universal Studios Hollywood
Rollercoaster Accident in California

Clicking on any of the links takes you through the familiar process of approving a rogue application, that will then post the same message to your own Facebook wall, and attempt to trick you into taking an online survey that earns money for the scammers.

Theme Park accident survey scam

You should remember that if there was a real news story like this you would never have to approve a third party Facebook application to learn more about it – you could simply visit a legitimate news website.

At the time of writing, Facebook security has shut down the offending link – but it’s possible that the cybercriminals could return with a new version.

If you’ve been affected by this scam (more details of which is available on the website of our friends at Facecrooks), you should clean up your account before any further damage is done.

I’ve made a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account if you were hit by this, or similar scams on Facebook:

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

Make sure that you stay informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos Facebook page, where more than 170,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

You could also do a lot worse than check out our best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook guide.

Hat tip: Thanks to Naked Security reader Andrew who first sent us a tip about this scam spreading on Facebook.