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'Giant Snake Eats Zookeeper' Video Survey Scam


Outline

Circulating Facebook message invites users to click a link to watch a "shocking video" of a zookeeper being swallowed by a large snake. The message features a teaser image supposedly depicting the snake about to devour the hapless zookeeper.

Facebook phising
© Depositphotos.com/ panama555

Brief Analysis

The message is a survey scam. It is just one among a lone line of "shocking video" scams that have inundated Facebook in recent months. Those who click the link will be taken to a fake Facebook page which first entices them to promote the bogus message to all of their friends via a Facebook share and then tricks them into providing their personal information on suspect survey pages. Users will never get to see the promised video. The scammers have (ineptly) photoshopped the figure of a man into a photograph of a snake caught in an electric fence that has circulated in other contexts since 2005.

Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.


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Example

Giant Snake Eats Zookeeper Survey Scam


Detailed Analysis

Yet another "shocking video" survey scam is going around Facebook. This incarnation of the scam promises users access to a video of a zookeeper being swallowed by a giant snake. Users are told they will see "heartbreaking" behind the scenes footage of the grizzly encounter. As a teaser, the message features an image that attempts to depict the zookeeper about to be engulfed by a large snake.

 is a very poorly rendered composite that users the following image as its source. The "zookeeper" has been ineptly added to the original snake image via Photoshop or another image manipulation program. The original image has circulated in different contexts for several years.

Giant Snake Eats Zookeeper Survey Scam

This message is just one more incarnation in a whole series of similar video survey scams that have been hitting Facebook in recent months.

Those who do succumb to the temptation and click the link will be taken to a fake Facebook "page" that supposedly hosts the video. The fake page, which comes complete with equally fake comments, informs users that they must first share via Facebook before being allowed to see the video:

Giant Snake Eats Zookeeper Survey Scam

If users share as instructed, they will be taken to a second fake page that again supposedly hosts the video.  But, they will be told that they must perform a "security check" by participating in one or more surveys:

Giant Snake Eats Zookeeper Survey Scam

Users are thus drawn into a confusing morass of surveys, that all offer enticing prizes for participants. But, to enter, users must provide their mobile phone number, a move that will actually subscribe them to extremely expensive SMS subscription services. Alternatively, they may be asked to provide contact and other personal information as part of an offer.  This information may later be sold to online marketing outfits and used to bombard victims with unwanted and annoying emails, surface mail, text messages and phone calls.

And, no matter how many surveys they fill out, users will never get to see the promised video.

The scammers responsible for these fake videos earn commissions via dodgy affiliate marketing schemes whenever a user participates in a survey.

Facebook users should be very wary of clicking any links that promise access to "shocking" video footage. If you do click on such a link and it claims that you must share material or participate in a survey before seeing the video, do not continue.



Last updated: January 17, 2014
First published: January 17, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
Giant Snake in Electric Fence Photographs
'World's Largest Snake Video' Survey Scam






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