Facebook and Twitter flooded by Whitney Houston Scams
A familiar event rapidly occured just moments after the deaths of Michael Jackson, Osama bin Laden, Moammar Ghadhafi, and Amy Winehouse. This same even also happened with natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and other worldwide crises and disasters in the past and the present. Just recently, once again, Facebook and Twitter were flooded once more with countless scams regarding the death of award-winning recording artist Whitney Houston.
Just shortly after the announcement of Houston’s death hit the web on February 11, reactions and emotions from users around the world flooded Facebook and Twitter. Once Houston’s death became a trending topic in Twitter, users in the social media scene craved for more information behind the event, making their peaked curiosity an easy target for cybercriminals everywhere. These cybercriminals create scams under guises of headlines such as “This video reveals the true story behind the death” along with a link to a suspicious survey-type malicious site disguised as a YouTube video.
An example of this: TrendMicro, a security firm known for its line of antivirus software and PC protection products, found a Twitter scam in a form of a fake tweet with a link to a supposed homage-paying blog site, only to be redirected automatically to a website that offers a variety of desktop wallpapers of Whitney Houston. When a user downloads one wallpaper, the link leads that user to a survey site that requires certain sensitive, private information such as a cellphone number at one of its fields.
TrendMicro found 101 different types of survey scams registered to the same IP when another type of scam the firm discovered shows a wall post on Facebook with a headline link of “I cried watching this video. RIP Whitney Houston” that should be linked to a YouTube video. Scams like these, however, would not be able to do its purpose until it becomes viral all over Facebook and Twitter through suspected unknown accounts and even through accounts of a user’s friends.Continued on the next page