Do you want Justin Bieber to follow you on Twitter?
Well, chances are that you do.. if you’re a 12 year old girl.
And sure enough, with so many adoring young fans of Justin Bieber around the world, there are scammers looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck.
I’ve made a video of a scam that I’ve seen on Twitter today, which targets fans within seconds of them sending messages to Justin Bieber’s Twitter account:
(Enjoy this video? Check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like.)
The scam works like this:
* Veronica Spud, a fan of Justin Bieber, writes a message for Justin on Twitter saying that she is his biggest fan and she loves his haircut.
* Edwina, an automated bot account set up by scammers, hunts for users referring to @JustinBieber and posts the potential young victim a message:
Who knew that someone as famous as Justin Bieber could be one of your followers, u know. [LINK]
* Veronica, desperate for Justin Bieber to follow her on Twitter, clicks on the link. Excited at the thought of learning the secret of getting the pint-sized popstar to be their new best friend, they think nothing of launching into an IQ test to learn the password that will unlock the secret.
* In the blink of an eye, Veronica is entering her mobile phone number and signing up for a premium rate service that will cost her £4.50 a week – in the belief that it will somehow lead to Justin Bieber following her on Twitter.
* Edwina, meanwhile, has helped her scammer overlords earn some commission.
This scam is active right now on Twitter. I’ve told Twitter’s security team about it, so hopefully they can shut it down – but it probably won’t be long before a similar scam pops its head up taking advantage of the rich mine of users acting unsafely.
If you see a message or Twitter user that you think is suspicious, remember you can report the user for sending spam.
And if you want to keep up-to-date on the latest threats, including social networking threats, I would love you to follow us on Twitter as @nakedsecurity.