As expected, scammers are starting to take advantage of Hurricane Irene and the resulting heavy flooding in the US. Just like with previous celebrity scams, they are leveraging Facebook with sensational headlines to target ignorant victims.
This version says something along the lines of "VIDEO SHOCK - Hurricane Irene New York kills All" followed by a link. The Facebook Page that you are taken to redirects to an Italian version with the description "PER VEDERE IL VIDEO DEVI PRIMA CONDIVIDERE" (loosely translated: you'll have to share the video before you can view it) and "VEDI IL VIDEO" (view the video), according to Sophos.
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 rogue Facebook Page. The fake video player 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. You may think you'll eventually get to see a video, but you won't.
The scammers' goal is to drive more traffic towards certain sites. This is how the scammer earns his or her money: a commission for every survey completed, every product purchased, and/or every account compromised. They also use them to spread malware and obtain personal information.
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.
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- Facebook releases official Guide to Facebook Security
- Experts: Facebook crime is on the rise
- Facebook improves safety, security tools; experts not impressed
- Teenagers jailed for running "criminal equivalent of Facebook"