Scam warning: I can't believe a GIRL did this because of Justin Bieber

Summary:A new scam that used Justin Biebier's celebrity status garnered 20,000 Likes before Facebook could stop it.

Old Facebook scams were reborn under new headlines this week, promising the usual free products and/or taking advantage of celebrity obsessions. One of the most effective ones was titled "I can't believe a GIRL did this because of Justin Bieber," which appeared on thousands of status updates and garnered more than 20,000 Facebook Likes.

M86 Security Labs has branded it a "likejacking" scam (a play on the term clickjacking, which means prompting a victim to click something while a different action is taken behind the scenes) and said it was similar to previous campaigns that were first observed last year. Clicking the link leads to FouTube page, a fake version of YouTube, that says "Please Watch this video only if you are 16 years or older." The FouTube player video window is overlayed with a hidden iframe; clicking on it anywhere will submit a Facebook Like and spread the post on the victim's Facebook page.

That's not the end of the scam. A fake Facebook dialog box then pops up and asks the victim to verify his or her age by completing a survey with links to auto insurance websites. That's how the scammer earns his or her money: by convincing the user to visit one of these websites to complete a survey, they are probably paid by their affiliates, not to mention all the ads on the FouTube website.

Facebook has since stopped this scam, but because of how it was implemented, and due to the social network's size, it spread very quickly. The timing of this scam is a little ironic. Just last month Facebook teamed up with Justin Bieber to help stop digital abuse.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser, Security, Software Development

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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