Clickjackers have been known to prey on morbid curiosity to gain clicks, pageviews and sleazily spread content across Facebook.
How often people are still roped in to these scams, considering their prevalence on the social network, is alarming- but it seems every week there is a new “shocking” video cropping up again and again in my News Feed. For the tail end of May, it was a borderline offensive image of a woman’s genital area claiming “Baby Born Amazing Effect!” and it was doubly mortifying to see it spread accidentally by some of the more conservative, older members of my family.
The death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn has been a much-buzzed about event on the internet, and unethical clickjackers are using the interest in and sadness surrounding the young man’s death to direct people toward their surveys using less than above board methods on Facebook. The way the scam works is that when you attempt to view the video, it requires a verification for age or some similar confirmation gesture. This publishes the link on your page and uses your profile to suggest to friends you ‘trust’ the link.
Sophos does great work in breaking clickjacking scams down, and they describe the Ryan Dunn’s last words scam:
Clicking on such links, however, is playing directly into the scammers’ hands. A bogus Facebook page appears, and you are tricked into “Sharing” the page with your Facebook friends in the belief that you are really passing an age verification process.
Once you’ve helped the scammers spread their promotion across Facebook, you are tricked into taking an online survey which earns commission for whoever is the mastermind of the scam operation.
If you’re a fan of Ryan Dunn, it seems to me that the very last thing you should be doing is helping someone who is exploiting the TV star’s death make money.
As you are probably aware, there is no video of Ryan Dunn’s last words, and if there were, it would likely be carried through a more legitimate source than a page on Facebook requiring you to “like” it. Have you ever been snookered by a clickjacking scam?