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'New Unknown Species' Facebook Video Survey Scam


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Outline

Post being shared on Facebook claims that a new unknown species has been discovered in Africa and invites you to click an image of the creature to see video footage.

Facebook Survey Scam



Brief Analysis

The post is a scam designed to trick you into submitting your personal information on dodgy survey websites. The picture depicting the supposed 'unknown species' actually shows a sculpture by artist Patricia Piccinini.

   

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Example

New Unknown Species discovered in Africa

Footage of a strange species newly discovered deep in Botswana's wilderness by a conservation officer.

New Unknown Species Scam Post


Detailed Analysis

Post Promises Video Of 'Unknown Species' Discovered in Africa

According to this post, which is currently being shared across Facebook, a new unknown species has been discovered in Africa. Supposedly, you can click a teaser image to view footage of a 'strange species newly discovered deep in Botswana's wilderness by a conservation officer'.

The teaser image depicts a rather bizarre-looking mother creature with its babies.

Post is a Survey Scam - Image Depicts a Sculpture

However, the post is a typical video survey scam. Clicking the picture takes you to a fake Facebook page that appears to host the video.

When you click the 'play' button on the video, a pop-up window will claim that you must share the page on Facebook before the footage will play.

After you share as instructed, a 'Content Warning' popup will appear that claims that you must click one of several available links to verify your age before you see the video. The links open various third party survey websites that ask you to provide your name and contact details, ostensibly so you can go in the draw for various prizes.

But, fine print on the pages will state that your information will be shared with third-party marketers. Thus, you may soon begin receiving unwanted and annoying marketing phone calls, emails, and surface letters.

In some versions, you may be asked to supply your mobile phone number. However, by supplying the number you will actually be subscribing to a very expensive text message 'service' that will charge you several dollars for each message sent to you.

Meanwhile, the people operating the scam will earn a commission each time a user participates in a survey.

And, no matter how many surveys you fill in, you will never get to see the promised video.

Be wary of any Facebook post that claims that you can see shocking or unusual footage by clicking a link, sharing, and participating in online surveys.

So, what IS the strange creature shown in the scam post image? In fact, the image depicts a sculpture called 'The Young Family' created by artist Patricia Piccinini. The same image has circulated in other contexts for several years.

Unknown Species Survey Scam Page

Last updated: April 17, 2015
First published: April 17, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
What is a Facebook Survey Scam?
'Shocking Video' Facebook Scams
Patricia Piccinini Website






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