Social Networks

Facebook Lookalikes Hit ‘Adult Only’ Niche; Phishing and Spam Keep Business Going

Messages spreading via Yahoo! Messenger or via the e-mail deliver an interesting offer for 18+ eyes only. Recipients are invited to a Facebook-like network overtly declared or subtly implied to provide participants with adult entertainment.

The combination of baits in these cases is brilliant: Facebook or Facebook-like friend requests from unknown persons are already part of the arsenal of online socialization; the “adult” ingredient spices up the mix as it theoretically enables the user to get straight to the point of online quests for amorous adventures.

 According to a May 2012 study on social networking by pewinternet.org, 66% of online adults use social networking and 3% of these users say they see social networks as a means to “finding potential romantic partners.” Though this figure appears very low, respondents can be reluctant to admitting they seek romance online. The actual proportion of Cupid-minded socialites out there may be higher.

 Another thing to keep in mind is that Facebook does not allow adult content.

 

 This prohibition makes room for offers of alternative online socialization with a Facebook-like feeling but laxer rules on the forbidden fruit.

 On Yahoo! Messenger, the message pops up unexpectedly. As it generally originates from an unknown sender with a cryptic id, it manages to raise doubts straight away.

 

 The x-rated proposal is delivered with a link that fuels recipients’ curiosity with its “singlesmix” ending. Clicking the link redirects you to a web site apparently loaded with very explicit content.

Willingly ignoring the fact that the web site copies Facebook both in color and its self-qualification as a “social network,” users may tread on the path to sexual bliss, a path that conveniently passes through their neighborhood, as indicated by the “less than 15 miles away” note.

To access the content on this site you obviously need an account which, surprise, surprise, requires at least your valid e-mail address.

 

If none of the glitches pointed out so far made your security-minded brain cells scream “danger!” then this is the point you might want to do a little checkup. Here’s what WOT says about this story:

 Moreover, the testimonies of community members make the picture as clear as possible: this is a scam. It will take your e-mail address into spam land and might even cost you money for imaginary sexual services.

 

 A similar situation is triggered by a spam message claiming to be a Facebook friend request, but which advertises a legitimate social network called FUBAR. It includes a link which directs users to web site that has nothing to do with FUBAR and everything to do with spam.

For those who must see to believe, a WOT report on the respective site reveals its true intentions:

 

 Here’s a cold shower to conclude this red light story: hold on tight to your virtual pants when someone promises you a Facebook-like experience with an adult twist.

 This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of the BitDefender Online Threats  Lab.

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.

2 Comments

Click here to post a comment