A Facebook scam, which claims to show a video of a New York police officer having sex with a cheerleader on top of a car, has spread between many users of the social network.
The messages, which are shared by your Facebook friends in the belief that they will get to see the seemingly salacious content, typically look something like this:
[VIDEO] New York Police Officer Caught Having Sex With Cheerleader
[LINK] He said he was out of control when she seen cheerleader alone
Quite how you are supposed to deduce that that is a cheerleader from that angle is beyond me. And it could just as easily be a “policeman” who has rented a costume and accessories from a fancy dress outfitters.
Anyway, the important thing is not to allow yourself to be duped into clicking on the link.
Because the fraudsters who kicked off this scam are using it as a means of making money.
If you do make the mistake of clicking on the link, you won’t get to see the video. Instead, you’ll be taken to a third-party website which pretends to be a genuine Facebook page, followed by comments from (supposedly) people who have viewed the video in the past.
But, if you plough ahead and attempt to watch the alleged sex video you will be greeted with a “Restricted video” message and told to share the link with your Facebook friends before you can proceed.
In this way the scam dupes innocent (albeit slightly grubby) Facebook users into sharing their links far and wide, luring more people into their money-making funnel.
This really is your last chance. If you go ahead and share the link with your online friends, you are not only announcing the kind of sleazy content you are interested in watching on the internet - you are also (potentially) drawing them into the scam as well.
If you *do* share the link then you will still not get to see the video. Instead you will be encouraged by the scammers to complete an online survey - sometimes presented as an age verification.
The scammers are earning affiliate cash by driving traffic to the online surveys, and you’ve just helped them by luring all of your Facebook friends into “viewing” the video too.
In the worst cases they may also ask for your cellphone number, and sign you up for expensive premium rate services, or install money-making adware onto your computer.
Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just not click on the link in the first place?
Don’t be fooled, and don’t make it easy for the scammers to earn money in this underhand way. Facebook’s security team has not had a spotless record in stamping out scams like this, so it’s up to you to properly protect yourself.
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.