Whenever a big story or scandal hits the front pages of websites everywhere, you can be sure that cybercriminals find a way to use it to their advantage. Case in point: Steve Jobs’ death. Trend Micro has given us a head’s up of a new scam that’s currently hitting Facebook, with the premise of giving participants a free iPad courtesy of Apple in Job’s memory.
According to Trend Micro, the scam works by asking users to share the page in order to be eligible. After the user follows the instructions, he is directed to an ad site, while in the background, the link is posted on their Facebook wall. A message then appears with the message that the offer is not available in the user’s area, with the user being shown advertisements instead. While the hapless user is trying to figure out what happened, the scammers are now a wee bit richer, thanks to the users who further spread the message through their account, and the ad revenue generated from the ads.
“ As dubious as the offer sounds, it seems like some users are falling for the scheme. Here in TrendLabs we are seeing increasing number of posts bearing the website’s URL,” Marco deLa Vega, Trend Micro, Threats Researcher.
“The deaths of known persons have become staple topics of social engineering schemes for the past years. Just a couple of months ago, we saw scams that took advantage of the death of singer Amy Winehouse, as well as rumors about the death of Lady Gaga. We are strongly advising users not to click on posts like these if they see them on their Facebook newsfeeds. We also suggest users to educate those who have been tricked to stop the spread of such scams,” Dela Vega added.
The lesson here is this: if it sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam.