by Graham Cluley on July 6, 2012
Many Facebook users were assaulted by the following message earlier today, seemingly shared by their online friends:
[SHOCK] At 17, she did THIS in public high school, EVERY day! Outrageous?
Is it normal to let her do that? In PUBLIC and such!
The image of a young woman’s bottom in tight-fitting jeans might or might not (depending on your taste) entice you into clicking further – and if you did succumb you would have found your browser taken to a third-party webpage which pretends it is about to show you a video.
However, the “play” button on the video hides a secret “Like” button, which means that you share the link even further across your social network by clickjacking – helping the scammers spread their link virally.
The purpose of scams such as these are typically to lead you to online surveys (which earn the scammers affiliate commission) or to trick you into handing over personal information such as your cellphone number which will then be subscribed to a premium rate service.
One day the scammers will be using links purporting to be videos of giant snakes eating zookeepers, the next it might be a sex video of an Asian film star.
The disguises may change, but the trick is the same. Keeping your wits about you is your first defence.
You should always be careful about what you click on on Facebook – as you could be carelessly sharing a scammers’ link onto your online friends.