Charlie Sheen has joined the ranks of Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Emma Watson, in old Facebook scams that have gotten a recent boost under new headlines taking advantage of celebrity obsessions. The scams are probably working, considering how often new ones keep popping up on the social network.
The Sheen version starts with something like "Exclusive Video:," "RIP!," or "Breaking News:" and continues with either "Charlie Sheen found Dead at his House!" or "Developing Story Charlie Sheen Dies from Cardiac Arrest and taken away in Ambulance!" and a link. The American film and television actor has recently been in the news quite a bit due to his various antics, and spammers are looking to leverage the hype around him, according to Facecrooks.
Yesterday, the Two And A Half Men star celebrated being sacked from his hit TV show by brandishing a machete and drinking a bottle of Tiger Blood, declaring he was "free at last." I assure you that part is not a scam, and the video is embedded below.
Just like the previous "likejacking" scams (a play on the term clickjacking, which means prompting a victim to click something while a different action is taken behind the scenes) any of the above will lead you to a fake YouTube page such as TouTube or FbTube. This time, clicking on play prompts you with the following message: "Please complete a 30 second survey to verify that you are human."
The Fake YouTube player video window is overlayed with a hidden iframe; actually clicking on it anywhere will also submit a Facebook Like and spread the post to your Facebook page. The scammer earns his or her money via a commission for every survey completed. Furthermore, those who fell for this particular scam report that they were infected with malware. At the same time, you should remember not to hand over your mobile phone number as scammers will sign you up for a premium rate SMS service.
As I've recommended before, if you see a scam like this one, report it. Then go check your own wall to make sure you're not spreading the scam; the sooner you clean it up and unlike the page, the better. You can even contact Facebook Security if you'd like to. Some security suites as well as the Firefox add-on NoScript will prevent the likejacking from taking place.