Symantec: Beware of ‘Free Goodies’ on Social Networks

Scammers hit Social Networks
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“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. You’ve have most likely seen that “Stand a chance to win an iPad 2” advertisement your friends have been doing on their Facebook Wall, chances are, they probably fell for a scam. In recent studies by Symantec Security Response, scammers are flocking to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as they are becoming extremely popular. With over 845 million active users to date on Facebook, it’s no surprise that these scams are becoming more apparent.

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Here are some tactics used by scammers:

1. Providing links that redirect to affiliate sites
You’ve probably received replies from unknown Twitter accounts of new product giveaways. Many of these links actually lead to affiliate pages asking for personal information, such as email address and shipping information. Some scammers have also begun to send users to instructional videos on YouTube which guide the users through a step-by-step process to get their free iPad or iPhone. Scammers then use the video description section to link to the affiliate pages which then dupe users into sharing their personal information.

2. Setting up fake promotional user accounts
Unlike the previous examples, where a Twitter user posts about a certain brand and receives a targeted reply with a link, users are now being directed to fake branded Twitter accounts as shown below. If you are a Twitter user and receiving replies from suspicious Twitter accounts promising you something for free, protect yourself and others by reporting the account to Twitter.

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For more information on the above, please visit Symantec’s Security Response blog post here.

Symantec recommends users be cautious when clicking on URLs without expanding them first using previews or plug-ins. Users should also never disclose any confidential personal or financial information unless and until it can be confirmed that any request for such information is legitimate.

For more info on Facebook’s Page policy, read this.

  • Former Lecturer. Gamer. Idea Generator. Tournament Organizer. Loves Kairosoft games. Lived in a box twice in Recettear. Never turns down a Catan challenge. Cheats in Monopoly. Broke Skyrim. Sucks at Dance Central. Plays a fem Shep. Heavy bow-gunner in MH3p. Completed Persona 2 Portable 4 times. Well, he's just too damn free.

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