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Japanese Tsunami 'Whale into Building' Clickjacking Scam

Outline
Message posted on Facebook supposedly links to information about a whale smashed into a building by the tsunami in Japan.



Brief Analysis
The message is a scam. The link in the post opens a bogus video website that supposedly hosts footage of the whale. However, attempting to watch the video will try to trick the user into participating in scam surveys, supposedly as part of a "verification" process. Clicking the video will also automatically "like" the page and repost the spam message to other Facebook users.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 16th March 2011
First published: 16th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Japans Tsunami Sends whale Smashing Into A Building

[Link Removed]

Japans Tsunami whale scam




Detailed Analysis
A message, which at first glance, may appear to be a news headline about the Japanese earthquake disaster, is currently appearing on user walls all over Facebook. The message proclaims that a whale was smashed into a building by the earthquake generated tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011. The post includes a link that supposedly leads to more information about the whale. However, the post does not link to the promised whale footage. Instead, it is just another in a series of very similar clickjacking scams that have recently targeted Facebook users.

The link in the message opens a fake video website that has been designed to look like a Youtube webpage. Once on the page, the user is urged to watch a video that supposedly provides footage of the hapless whale's encounter with the tsunami. In fact, those who try to watch the "video" are actually clicking a hidden Facebook "Like" button, an action that will automatically repost the scam message to their Facebook walls.

And the victims will then be shown a popup window that claims that they must participate in one or more "surveys" before they can access the video. Those who proceed by following one of the survey links will be presented with a series of "surveys" that may ask them to provide contact details and other personal information. Often, these surveys attempt to trick participants into subscribing to extremely expensive SMS services. By participating, they may also inadvertently give permission for marketing companies to contact them via email, phone or surface mail.

This type of scammer activity, which is known as clickjacking, is becoming more and more common on Facebook. Those responsible for such clickjacking campaigns generally earn a commission whenever a victim participates in one of the bogus surveys or offers. These heartless scammers are very quick to exploit current events such as the Japanese earthquake disaster. They are also apt to capitalize on the popularity - or notoriety - of celebrities such as troubled actor, Charlie Sheen.

Other such scam attempts try to fool users into installing rogue Facebook apps that again direct people to bogus survey sites, supposedly in order to verify their Facebook identity.

Bookmark and Share References
Facebook 'Virus Alert' - Charlie Sheen Found Dead
Scammers Exploit 'Facebook Closing Down' Hoaxes via Rogue Apps
Facebook 'See Who Viewed Your Profile' Scams - Rogue 'Stalker' Apps
Japanese Tsunami Launches Whale Into Building? It's a Facebook clickjack scam




Last updated: 16th March 2011
First published: 16th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer