5 More Facebook, Twitter Scams to Avoid
From get-rich-quick schemes to pornographic robots, the latest social networking scams reveal just how much more sophisticated the crooks are getting
By Joan Goodchild , Senior Editor
August 31, 2009 — CSO —
A recent survey released by AVG Technologies and the Chief Marketing Officers Council reveals that while most social network users are concerned about the security of the sites, the vast majority do not take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. Of the 250 users polled, 47 percent have been victims of malware infections and 55 percent have been subjected to phishing (See also: 9 Dirty Tricks: Social Engineers' Favorite Pick Up Lines). However, despite those numbers, most users (64 percent) rarely or never change their passwords, 57 percent rarely or never adjust their privacy settings and 90 percent fail to report security issues to the social networks (Read about more security oversights in Seven Deadly Sins of Social Network Security)
With such daunting numbers, you want the users accessing these sites on your network to be informed, right? CSO recently outlined 5 common scams on Facebook and Twitter that users are seeing, and being taken by, when they are on these sites. But, like any savvy business person, the crooks are crafting new plans and updating their tactics each day. Here are five more dirty tricks to look out for.
Tweet for cash!
This scam takes many forms. "Make money on Twitter!" and "Tweet for profit" are two common come-ons security analysts say they've seen lately. The claim is that anyone can work from home and make large sums of money (Up to $10,000 a month!!) simply by "tweeting." Sounds too good to be true, and, of course, it is. The age-old work-from-home email scam has now migrated to Twitter, according to Ryan Barnett, director of application security research at Breach Security, a Web application security firm.
Breach, which recently published its Web Hacking Incidents Database report, has seen an explosion in this scheme in recent months as the economy has forced cash-strapped folks to do whatever they can for some income. Those who fall for it are asked for their credit card number in order to pay a $1.95 shipping fee to get their 'Twitter Cash Starter Kit.'
"The end user ends up forking out money to do this work and they pay money to some rogue company," said Barnett. "But once you've paid for the CD, they now have your credit card number and they can just keep charging that card each month."
Many who have been taken by this ruse claim they later find out the Starter Kit had a 7-day free trial, and the company then charged a monthly "fee," typically around $50, unbeknownst to the victim, who often has to cancel the credit card in order to stop the fraudulent charges.
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