Tumblr Offers Free iPhone 5 in Survey Scam

Similar offers received as a text message are even more dangerous

By on January 30th, 2012 14:08 GMT

Before the latest iPhone 4S was released, iPhone 5 scams were not uncommon. Now, many users are complaining that these types of schemes are making a comeback, even to the point of being sent via text messages, apparently coming from numbers used by legitimate institutions.

Sophos experts came across another variant of an iPhone 5 scam that promises a few lucky individuals a free iPhone offered by Apple and Tumblr.

“Be sure to reblog this post so that others will have the same opportunity to get their own phone. Nothing better than starting your day off with a gift from us. We hope you enjoy!” reads a phony post allegedly written by Tumblr staff members on their official blog.

Users are urged to click on a link that points to a cleverly designed webpage which advertises the new phone and even lists a few of its new features.

However, in order to receive the much-awaited prize, the unsuspecting victims must complete a classic survey that requests tons of sensitive information that may later be utilized by the cybercriminals to launch other spam campaigns.

Individuals who are fortunate enough to receive similar offers are advised to ignore them, no matter how official or genuine they look.

If the malicious advertisements are received on mobile phones as a text message, the recipient may be targeted by a social engineering attack that’s designed to inflate bills and at the same time fill the pockets of the crooks with loads of money.

Most phony SMSs request the recipient to call back a number for further details, but what many don’t know is that the call-back number may be premium-rate, specially set up by the crooks. For each minute spent talking with the man or woman that’s on the other end of the line, the victim can pay up to $26 (20 EUR).

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