We see many scams spreading across Facebook every day, but some of them really make us lose our faith in society.. and Facebook itself.
Here’s the latest scam that is spreading rapidly across the network.
ÖMG: BRÔTHËR rãpés hís sïstér -
Wâtch thîs shóckîng VÍDÊÕ! Shé wäs hurtïng fór dâys, ånd côuld nòt wãlk!
The most likely way that this scam is spreading is by users choosing to click on the link. Presumably they want to see a video of a man raping his own sister. (There are other ways that the message could be spreading – malware, secret clickjacking, etc – but knowingly clicking seems the most obvious).
That’s a pretty sick and sorry statement on society.
Users who do click on the links are tricked into sharing it further..
.. and then complete an online survey that earn the scammers commission.
So, my faith in Facebook users is shaken a fair amount by scams like this.
But also, Facebook has to answer some important questions too.
Like, why can’t they stop scams like this more quickly?
Is it really beyond their ken to quarantine suspicious-looking status updates when they rapidly replicate across the network? Especially when the messages are using an ages-old spammers’ trick of using extended character sets (“Shóckîng VÌDÉÖ” instead of “Shocking VIDEO”) to try to bypass filters – which should itself ring loud alarm bells that something fishy is going on.
If Facebook is going to be a safer, family-friendlier place for people to be then it needs to tackle highly offensive scams like this much more effectively. Currently it is falling far short of what most decent people would want to see in their newsfeed.
Of course, if you have fallen for the scam, it’s a good idea to remove all references to it from your Facebook page and warn your friends not to participate in it.
And if you see any of your friends with such messages on their wall, report them as spam.
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.Follow @gcluley
If you have an opinion on Facebook’s response to scams on their social network, why not leave a comment below?