Social Networks

Beware! Sad video of woman dying during a fight is really a Facebook scam

Scammers are once again attempting to make an easy buck by tricking Facebook users into sharing gruesome videos that link to money-making surveys.

It’s far from a new trick and there have been many examples of survey scams spreading on Facebook in the past, but that doesn’t stop it from being a remarkably effective way for fraudsters to earn affiliate cash.

Here’s how the latest Facebook scam appears, and how it earns the scammers money.

The first you know is that one of your Facebook friends shares a link on their account, pointing to what appears to be a grisly video of a woman being beaten to death.

[SAD VIDEO] Her head was beat in and she died during this fight!

Press PLAY to watch.

Because the video has been shared by one of your online friends, you interest might have been piqued and you may decide to click further to see more. After all, the link suggests that you’re going to be visiting a Fox News website, right?

These are your first mistakes, by the way. But bear with me, and we’ll see what happens next.

You’ve been taken to a website which is attempting to look a little like Facebook, although the URL is designed to trick you into believe you might be on a website belonging to Fox News.

Confused? You probably won’t be. Because the typical user at this point is too interested in watching the video, rather than looking for tell-tale signs that they might be being duped by scammers.

But if you try to watch the video, this is what will happen:

You must SHARE the Video to PLAY!

That’s right. The webpage insists that you share the link on your own Facebook page (to your Facebook friends) before you can watch the video for yourself.

Of course, this should send alarm bells ringing in your ears. How can you possibly determine if something is worth sharing with your online pals before you have seen it yourself?

Nevertheless, plenty of people are so intrigued to watch the video that they will happily share the link online – and in this way the scam spreads rapidly across Facebook.

Phew! Now you’ve shared the video link, will you *finally* be able to watch it?

Not so fast… because this is the point at which the scammers begin to earn their money.

They now want you, under the disguise of an age verification check, to complete some online surveys and competitions. Only then – say the scammers – will you be able to watch the video.

The real YouTube, of course, never asks you to complete surveys to watch a video. What’s happening here is that the scammers are hoping to drive traffic to online questionnaires in the hope of earning themselves affiliate cash.

If you’ve been duped by a Facebook scam, make sure that you delete all evidence of it from your Facebook page and warn your friends not to click on the dodgy links.

If people were more cautious about what they clicked on, and thought carefully before resharing links, then Facebook scammers would find it much harder to earn a dishonest living.

About the author

Graham CLULEY

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.

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