Heartless Halloween Suicide Scam Spreads on Facebook
Facebook paid independent researchers $40,000 in August for finding and reporting security bugs.
As millions of kids and their parents satisfy a post-Halloween sweet tooth, Facebook scammers are spreading an especially nasty campaign to revive last night's fright and lure people into compromising their computer security.
The Facebook message, which began spreading today (Nov. 1), shows a picture of a bloodied woman and reads, "Girl Killed Herself on Halloween After Dad Posted This on Her Wall."
Beneath a link, it reads, "This is unbelievable .. shocking.." To see what supposedly caused the girl to take her own life, Facebook users are prompted to click on the link, the security firm Sophos reported.
The image of the bloody woman is bad enough, but clicking on the link redirects users to a Web page that reads, "After a long day at basketball tryouts, this girl came home to this disturbing message. Nobody knows for now why or what made her dad do it, but he posted this on her wall ... R.I.P."
Though the scam never identifies her, the photo on the second page is of Megan Meier, a Missouri 13-year-old who really did commit suicide in 2006 after being relentlessly cyberbullied on MySpace.
The rest of the scam follows a traditional course: victims are told to "Share" and "Recommend" the link with their friends, which keeps it spreading. They are then taken to a survey page, which generates revenue for the scammers, and in the end there is no video.
Facebook scams appear every single day, and people continue to fall for them. There's not sure way to prevent people from clicking on enticing links such as this one, but anyone can try to exercise some basic Web common sense and avoid clicking on suspicious messages, especially ones that claim to have some "unbelievable," or "exclusive or "shocking" video footage .