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'Most Fatal Car Accident' Survey Scam

Message circulating on Facebook invites users to click a link to watch the "most fatal car accident of the world". A screenshot in the message depicts a person being thrown high into the air during a high-speed crash.

Warning of Scam

© karenr

Brief Analysis
The message is a scam designed to trick users into spamming the same bogus material via Facebook shares and participating in suspect online surveys.  The promised video is just the bait used to entice people into participating.  However, the accident described did take place. There are videos posted via YouTube and other outlets that depict the accident and an accident victim being flung high into the air. The accident took place on a highway near Moscow, Russia.

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Most Fatal Car Accident Surevy Scam

Detailed Analysis

A message currently being distributed across Facebook claims that users can view footage of the "most fatal car accident of the world" by clicking a link included in the post.

The message features a screen grab from the video showing a person being thrown high into the air during a highway collision.

But, alas, the message is yet another Facebook survey scam. Those who take the bait and click the link will be taken to a bogus Facebook page that supposedly hosts the promised video. The bogus page is designed to emulate a real Facebook post page and even includes fake user comments.

When users click the "Play" button on the video, they will be told that the video has a restriction and they are required to share the post via Facebook before this restriction can be lifted.

If users share the post as required, they will next be presented with a "Security Check" popup that claims that they must prove that they are over 18 by clicking a link and filling in one or more online surveys.

Victims will then be thrown into a seemingly endless tangle of suspect online surveys that promise valuable prizes for those willing to participate. Often, the surveys ask users to provide their mobile phone number as a condition of entry. But, by giving out their number, users are actually subscribing to very expensive sms "services" charged at several dollars per text.  Some of the surveys may require that users give out their personal and contact details as part of the participation process.  This information will later be shared with other dubious online marketers and used to bombard the hapless users with unwanted junk mail, emails, phone calls and text messages.

The people who create these fake video pages will earn commissions via affiliate marketing systems each time a user participates in a survey or provides their personal information. 

No matter how many surveys users complete, they will never be given access to the promised video.

In this case, the car accident described in the message did take place and video of the accident is available via YouTube and other video sharing sites. The footage suggests that a person involved in the accident was indeed flung far into the air at the moment of impact. Another video shows the same accident from a different angle.

Russian news outlets reported on the accident in August, 2013. The accident took place on the New Riga highway close to Moscow. Two people were killed.

The accident was certainly horrendous, but billing it as the "most fatal" car accident in the world is rather silly. A car accident in which a person dies cannot be more fatal than any other such accident.

There has been an increasing number of Facebook scam messages promising access to video footage of accidents, giant creatures, or fake celebrity deaths. Some are survey scams like the one described here. Others may try to trick users into installing rogue Facebook applications or browser plugins, or downloading malware.

Be cautious of any message promising access to "exclusive" video footage.  Even if a friend shared the message. If you do click a link in one of these messages and it claims that you must share the material, download a video player update or plugin, or participate in a survey before being granted access, do not proceed.

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Last updated: January 1, 2014
First published: December 31, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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