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SURVEY SCAM - 'Two Little Creatures Found in USA'


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Outline

'Breaking News' message being shared via Facebook claims that two little creatures that look just like humans have been found in the USA. The message invites you to click a 'play' button on a teaser image of the creatures to view video footage.

Word scam on keyboard
©Depositphotos.com/payphoto



Brief Analysis

The message is a typical Facebook scam designed to trick you into sharing the scam message with your friends and submitting your personal information via dodgy survey websites. The 'little creatures' featured in the image are sculptures by the artist Ron Mueck.

   

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Example

[Breaking News] Two little creatures found in USA, THEY are just like humans

Their size is just 12 inches, watch more in video

Two Little Creatures Scam Post



Detailed Analysis

Facebook Message Claims Little Human-Like Creatures Found

According to a 'breaking news' message being distributed on Facebook, two little creatures that look just like humans have been found in the United States.

The message features an image depicting a man attending to two small human-like figures lying on a bench.

The message claims that the 'creatures' are only 12 inches long and invites you to click a 'play' button on the picture to watch a video with more details.

Message is a Survey Scam

However, the claims in the message are nonsense. The promise of video footage depicting the little creatures is just the bait used to drag Facebook users into a typical survey scam.

If you were to click the 'play' button in the message, you would be taken to a fake Facebook Page that appears to host the video. The fake Page comes complete with a number of equally fake comments designed to make the claims seem more plausible.

But, when you try to play the video, you will receive a message explaining that you must share the post with your Facebook friends before you can see the footage.

After you share as instructed, you will be taken to a fake YouTube page that again appears to host the video. But, alas, you will still not get to see the video. Instead, when you click the 'play' button, you will receive a pop-up message noting that you must complete a survey before seeing the video (see screenshot below).

The pop-up will display a list of links that you can click to participate. The links lead to various third-party websites that offer prizes in exchange for filling in surveys and submitting your personal information.

Often, the surveys will request your mobile phone number, ostensibly as a prerequisite for entering a prize draw. But, fine-print on the page will state that by providing your mobile number, you are actually subscribing to an ongoing SMS 'service' that will charge several dollars for every text they send you.

Or, the surveys may request your name and contact details, again as a supposed condition of entry. But, the information you provide will be shared with other online marketers and you will soon begin receiving unwanted and annoying marketing phone calls, emails and surface mail.

Meanwhile, the scammers who create these bogus video messages earn a fee via suspect affiliate marketing schemes each time a person fills in a survey and provides their information.

Some versions may also try to trick users into downloading malicious plugins or installing rogue apps.

Scam Image Depicts a Sculpture by Ron Mueck

The 'tiny creatures' depicted in the scam message are actually hyperrealist sculptures created by the talented artist Ron Mueck.  Mueck has created a host of very realistic sculptures of human characters large and small.

Beware of 'Breaking News' and 'Shocking Video' Posts

Facebook scammers constantly use the promise of 'shocking video' or 'breaking news' footage to lure people into their survey scams. Be wary of any messages that make such promises.

If you click a link in such a post and it claims that you must first share the message and participate in a survey before you can see the promised video, do not proceed.

Facebook scam page

Last updated: May 4, 2015
First published: September 9, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
What is a Facebook Survey Scam?
The out-of-this-world hyperrealist scuptures of Ron Mueck
'Shocking Video' Facebook Scams
Ron Mueck Sculpture Photographs








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