If you needed any proof that there scammers don’t have any human decency to get in the way of their money-making efforts, take a look at the latest survey scam spreading on Facebook.
Pop star Rihanna has been the subject of various Facebook scams in the past, many of which have lured unsuspecting members of the public with the promise of watching a sex video.
However, on this occasion, things have taken a sick twist - with the messages being shared between users of the the social network claim that Rihanna has been found dead after being raped, and linking to what purports to be a video report of the breaking news.
R.I.P – SINGER RIHANNA FOUND DEAD AFTER BEING RAPED! 2014
OMG SHE WAS SO INNOCENT. BAD GUYS RAPED HER. R.I.P
In truth, the thumbnail of the video included in the message is a picture of the Bajan singer’s bruised and battered face after she was assaulted by singer Chris Brown in early 2009.
But that’s unlikely to deter many ghoulish Facebook users from clicking out of morbid curiousity, keen to be up to speed with what they believe might be the latest breaking celebrity news.
Clicking on the link is not a good idea, however, as it takes you (via a number of redirects) to a third-party site that pretends half-heartedly to be YouTube.
The real YouTube, of course, doesn’t ask you to take online surveys for “age verification”. If you do take any of these online surveys you are both putting affiliate cash in the bank accounts of the scammers and potentially handing over personal information that could be exploited later.
For instance, many such scams have tricked users into handing over their mobile phone numbers, which are then signed up for premium rate services.
Victims are also typically duped into sharing the link to the scam to their Facebook friends and family, before realising that there is no truth to the report.
Don’t make life easy for the sick-minded scammers. Warn your friends about scams like this, and ensure that you aren’t duped in future - as you could be only making the problem worse.
If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.