SURVEY SCAM - 'Actual Footage Missile MH-17'
OutlineFacebook message claims that users can see actual footage of the missile fired at downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 by pro-Russian militants.
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Brief AnalysisThe promised video does not exist. The message is a scam designed to trick people into spamming their friends with the same fake material and participating in bogus online surveys. If this message comes your way, do not click any links that it contains.
[ACTUAL FOOTAGE]Missile Fired From Pro-Russian Militants to Malaysian Airliner MH-17
Message Promises Footage of MH17 Missile Launch
Footage Does Not Exist - Message is a Survey Scam
If you click the link in the message, you will be taken to a fake Facebook Page that supposedly hosts the video. The fake page comes complete with equally fake user comments. For good measure, it even includes entirely bogus statistics that supposedly show how many people are watching the video and what percentage of viewers have already shared it.
And, if you try to click the video 'play' button, a pop-up message will tell you that you must first share the Page before you can watch the footage.
But, even if you do share as instructed, you will still not get to see the video. Instead, you will be taken to a fake YouTube Page that once again appears to contain the video.
However, another pop-up message will inform you that you are required to verify your age by filling in an online survey. The pop-up message contains a list of links leading to survey pages.
The surveys may require you to provide your mobile phone number or other personal and contact details, ostensibly so that you can go in the draw for various prizes or obtain survey results.
But, by providing your mobile number, you will actually be subscribing to a very expensive SMS 'service' that is charged at several dollars per text message sent. And, your name and contact details may be shared with other unscrupulous Internet marketers and may result in you receiving a flood of unwanted phone calls, email, and junk mail.
Meanwhile, the scammers who created the campaign will receive payments via suspect affiliate marketing schemes each and every time a victim participates in a survey.
And, alas, no matter how many surveys you fill in, you will never get to see the promised footage, which never existed to begin with.
Note also that some versions of the scam may try to trick you into downloading a missing video plug-in that actually contains malware.
Be Wary of Messages Promising MH17 Video or Breaking News
If a Facebook page or website claims that you must share the information, participate in surveys, download plugins, or install apps before accessing the supposed video, do not proceed.
Note that online criminals may use MH17 as a cover story for other types of online scams as well.
© Depositphotos.com/ carmen_dorin
Last updated: July 22, 2014
First published: July 22, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen