Shady websites, fake surveys, malicious plugins and premium mobile services
Vin Diesel is not dead, but Facebook scammers want you to think so in an effort to lure you to a shady website.“RIP Vin Diesel + (1967 – 2014). Watch the video on how he died – [18 years and above],” the scam posts read.
These posts contain a link to a website called news-today(dot)pw. Experts have often warned that .pw domains are increasingly used by cybercriminals for their malicious schemes and this is no exception.
When users visit the site, they’re presented with a fake Facebook page that apparently displays a video window and the following message: “Vin Diesel died while filming a deadly scene for the movie Fast & Furious 7. They have to film the scene again because the original stunt was with the deceased, Paul Walker.”
Victims are told that they must share the post about Vin Diesel being dead on their Facebook timeline before they can watch the video. Then, they’re told to download and install a plugin and complete a survey.
Of course, there’s no video because Vin Diesel is not dead. Instead, the scammers can profit in various ways by tricking users into completing this process.
Every time the surveys are completed, the crooks make money via affiliate marketing services. Furthermore, at the end of each survey, depending on their location, internauts are asked to enter their mobile phone numbers.
By entering their numbers, users are actually signing up for premium mobile services. The plugin that’s installed by victims allows the attackers to monitor and possibly even hijack their browsing sessions.
By instructing those who want to watch the video to share the posts on their own timelines, the scammers ensure that a large number of people are exposed to the scheme.
If you’re a victim, uninstall any plugins that you might have installed and scan your computer with an updated antivirus. Also, remove the post about Vin Diesel’s death from your timeline before your friends fall for it.
If you’ve signed up for premium mobile services, you should visit the website on which you’ve entered your phone number since it likely contains instructions on how to unsubscribe.
However, you must be on the lookout for any suspicious SMSs you might receive in the future, since, now that the scammers have your number, it will likely be handed over to other shady marketers.