Facebook Scams Target Oslo Tragedy, Winehouse Death
Amy Winehouse's website was defaced by a new hacking group.
It rarely takes long for Facebook scammers to spring into action following a global news event, and last Friday's terrorist tragedy in Oslo, along with Amy Winehouse's untimely death a day later, proved just how low these online thieves will go.
Within hours of the bombing that killed seven people in Norway's capital, a Facebook message began circulating that claimed to have exclusive video of the blast captured by a security camera, the security firm Sophos reported.
There is no such footage, however, and users who click on the phony YouTube thumbnail are redirected to an IQ survey and asked to enter their cellphone number, which then automatically signs them up for a premium-rate text messaging service.
In the immediate wake of a major international news story, Facebook's more than 600 million users naturally scour the site for information, making them vulnerable targets. And a recent study that showed that Facebook users are more trusting than others makes the social networking site extremely fertile ground for cybercriminals.
This was proven the following day (July 23), when the famously unstable singer Winehouse was found dead in her London home. Again wasting no time capitalizing on the public's immediate need for details, Facebook fraudsters launched several campaigns to scam users, Sophos found.
One phony video claimed to have footage of Winehouse "on crack hours before death"; another even purported to have a graphic video of the singer's actual death.
Following the trail of any of these fake videos takes you to survey scams and helps spam the rogue videos to your contacts list.
If you run into videos offering footage of either the Oslo bombing or Winehouse's death, do not click on them. To keep these scams from spreading, Sophos suggests you remove any entries related to either scam from your news feed and erase any unwanted "Likes" under the "Likes and interests" section.
- 10 Ways to Protect Yourself on Social Media Websites
- Why You Should Quit Facebook Now
- Identity Theft Protection Services Review