Users are tricked into installing rogue Facebook apps and browser extensions
Facebook is flooded these days with posts regarding the death of Paul Walker, the actor best known for his role in the Fast & Furious movies. As expected, scammers and cybercriminals are also leveraging the celebrity’s death.Hoax Slayer warns of bogus Facebook posts that read, “[SHOCKING VIDEO] Watch Paul Walker Horrific Car Crash Caught On Camera!!!!!!!”
The links from these posts don’t point to a video of the car crash, but to a page where users are instructed to install a rogue Facebook application that automatically posts the scam message on their timelines.
Other versions of the scam might try to trick internauts into installing malicious browser extensions. The goal is to lure unsuspecting people to survey sites.
Every time one of the surveys is completed, the scammers make a certain amount of money. Furthermore, once the surveys are completed, victims can be instructed to hand over their personal information, particularly phone numbers.
By entering your phone number on such a website, you can end up being subscribed to a premium SMS service that will considerably inflate your bill. If you look carefully at the bottom of these pages, they usually reveal the fact that each SMS you receive as part of the service costs a certain amount of money.
This is not the only type of scheme that leverages the accident in which Walker lost his life. Hours after the incident, Symantec spotted a spam campaign that included the words “Paul Walker” in a Word Salad. The Word Salad technique helps spammers evade some Bayesian filters.
Beware of such scams! Only visit trusted websites if you want to learn more about Paul Walker’s sudden death. Posts on social media websites should be treated with caution.
Update. Experts from Bitdefender have come across a different version of this scam. It relies on posts that advertise a full video of the Paul Walker car crash.