'Shark Eats Swimming Man' Facebook Survey Scam
OutlineFacebook message invites users to watch "exclusive" footage of a shark eating a swimming man. The message includes an image depicting a man being carried away inside a huge shark's mouth.
© Depositphotos.com/ Devon
Brief AnalysisThe message is a scam designed to trick Facebook users into spamming their friends and participating in bogus online surveys. Those who participate will never get to see the promised video. The image used in the scam message appears to be from the movie "Jaws the Revenge".
This message, which is appearing on Facebook, claims that users can view "heart breaking" footage of a man being eaten by a shark by following an included link. The message features a horrifying image of a man being carried away inside the mouth of a massive shark.
However, the message is just one more in a series of very similar Facebook scams that try to trick users into first promoting the fake video via sharing and then participating in bogus online surveys.
Apparently, there are plenty of users who would actually wish to see footage of a man eaten alive by a shark and will therefore click the link in the bogus message. But, those who do click the link will never get to see the promised video. Instead, they will be taken to a fake Facebook page that includes what appears to be a typical embedded video, along with a collection of fake comments.
When users click the "Play" button on the video, they will receive a message notifying them that they must first share the page via Facebook. After sharing, they will be taken to yet another page that again includes the embedded video.
But, alas, when users click the "Play" button a second time, a popup "Security Check" window will appear that informs them that they must participate in a survey before gaining access to the video.
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.
Almost identical tactics have been used in two other recent attacks, one that claims to have footage of the 'Most Fatal Car Accident' and another that offers users the chance to see a video of the "World's Largest Snake".
The image used in the bogus message appears to have been taken from the movie "Jaws: The Revenge".
Last updated: January 2, 2014
First published: January 2, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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Author Dan West Reviews Hank Searls’ ‘Jaws: The Revenge’