Facebook users should be on the lookout for posts promising a video of a “shocking roller coaster accident” in which 18 people have died. Scammers are trying to lure users to a shady website and trick them into installing a rogue Facebook app.
Facebook has been trying to keep newsfeeds scam-free for a long time. However, because many users click on links without giving it too much thought, the task is not an easy one.
Recently, Facebook has announced some measures that should help in reducing the number of like-farming scams. However, there are several types of schemes making the rounds on the social network and many of them rely a great deal on social engineering.
Security expert Graham Cluley has spotted a scam that’s been making the rounds on Facebook. The posts read something like “(Shocking Video Footage) 18 Dead in shocking roller coaster accident.”
Another variant reads, “16 people are confirmed deαd in a roller coaster αccident that occurred at Universal Studios in Florida. Currently there are 8 listed in cгitical coпditioп at an Orlando Hospital.”
When users click on the links, they’re not taken to a video, but to a page where they’re asked to install an application called FOXS NEWS (Version 1.2). The app requests access to the user’s profile, friend list and email address.
It can also post to Facebook on the victim’s behalf. This enables the scammers to spread the bogus posts and ensure that a lot of users end up on their websites.
In the end, there’s no video, most likely because it doesn’t even exist. The goal is to lure victims to websites that earn the scammers a commission for each user they trick.
Some of the scammy sites host surveys, while others are designed to trick internauts into handing over their personal details, or subscribe to premium mobile services. Those who subscribe to mobile services can end up with large phone bills.
If you’re a victim of the rollercoaster scam, you should immediately uninstall the FOXS NEWS app from the Apps tab. You should also remove the fake posts from the timeline and warn your friends about the scheme.
Over the past period, a lot of similar scams have been making the rounds. In most cases, potential victims are promised shocking videos or content related to events that have made numerous headlines, such as the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.