Has one of your Facebook friends posted a message like the following on their newsfeed?
HUGE PLANE CRASHES INTO BRIDGE!
Huge plane crashes into a bridge, watch this terrible accident! 18+ only!
If they have, they are in good company. Thousands of Facebook users have fallen for the latest fast-spreading survey scam – posing as a breaking news story.
First things first – do not click on the link if you see it on Facebook. If you do, it will take you to a bogus Facebook page which asks you to share the video with your online friends before it will allow you to view what it claims is astonishing video of a horrific accident worthy of a Hollywood action movie.
If you attempt to watch the alleged video before sharing it, the webpage won’t allow you. It wants you to share the link with as many people as possible to increase the number of people ultimately visiting the page.
Of course, if you do follow the page’s instructions you will be faced with a dialog asking you to verify your age by completing online surveys.
Remember, you still haven’t seen any video at this point.
The online surveys promise enormous prizes and generous offers, but the scammers are earning commission for every person they manage to drive towards them.
If you enter your personal information you may find yourself bombarded with unwanted offers and spammy messages, or have your mobile phone number signed up for a premium rate SMS service.
In other examples we have also seen malware and adware installed via this tactic of duping thousands of Facebook users into visiting a webpage.
And no, you won’t ever get to see the video.
What’s interesting is that the scammers are industrialising their money-making efforts. If you visit the root of the IP address hosting the plane crash scam, you find a directory containing other scams (same modus operandi, different lure) they have set up.
Terrible roller coaster accident!
99% Cant Watch More Than 15 Seconds[18+] Big girl vs skinny girl [SHOCKING VIDEO] Mother of All Monsters – Half Girl Half Snake! [VIDEO] Leaked video of iPhone 6!
If you love Nutella, don’t watch this!Terrible accident with pencil!
HUGE pimple explodes[VIDEO] Most Terrifying Accident Ever! Shark eats living man! Spider lives under skin!
Grose Worm Under Skin!
The current “Huge plane crashes into bridge” Facebook scam campaign has now been running for over 24 hours, with no sign of the social network shutting it down yet. It would certainly be good to see the site becoming more proactive in protecting its users, and keeping the money out of the pockets of scammers.
If you are on Facebook, and want to be alerted to the latest scams, updated with news about security and privacy risks, and receive tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.
Hat-tip: Thanks to Carl Blackett for bringing this scam to my attention.