‘Free Disney Tickets’ Beat ‘Profile Stalkers’ in Top Facebook Scams
Tens of thousands of users have been tricked by a new Disney ticket scam on Facebook. The like-farming trick has beat the popular “guess who viewed your profile” as the top Facebook scam.
A new Facebook page titled ‘Disneyland SuMMer Vacation’ claims hundreds of victims from one hour to the next by promising a holiday in the famous entertainment park. The scam has currently outclassed the most popular scam circulating on Facebook so far – “guess who viewed your profile”.
Almost a quarter of all Facebook scams circulating on the social network now trick users to like and share the Disney scam, according to statistics by Bitdefender Safego, a free social media tool that protects users from e-threats such as malware, fraud, phishing and spam.
The second spot in the top Facebook scams is claimed by a well-known trick making waves since the social network became popular. Over 14 per cent of the total Facebook scams are variations of the “Guess who viewed your profile” in English, Arabic and Spanish.
The Disney ticket scam managed to beat the “profile stalkers” popularity because it’s based on like-farming. By promising free tickets to Disneyland, cyber-criminals tricked tens of thousands of users to like and share their picture and message on their timeline. The number of victims grows rapidly and the bogus Disney page itself has already gathered over a thousand likes.
“We have 412 tickets that have been returned therefore we can NOT resell them, and have no choice but to give them away to YOU our fans!,” the spam message reads. As the winners will be notified on the 29th July, we can expect many more victims to fall for the scam.
Though security companies and experts have warned people about these scams for a couple of years, they always find new victims. In this particular example, one tech-savvy user even shared a link to Hoax Slayer, who warned about the Disney scam. Dreaming about the promised vacation, victims ignored the warning and continued to rush into liking and spreading the scam.
“Oh I want to go back so bad,” one user said. “If this isn’t fake, it would be awesome considering I’ve never been to Disney,” said another. “Who wouldn’t want tickets to the happiest place on earth?,” asked another victim.
Like-farming pages are created to gather as many likes as possible for commercial purposes. Cyber-criminals profit from selling the pages for black marketing. They can also use them for fraud, targeted phishing and malware attacks. Other similar like-farming pages created on Facebook promised free McDonald’s, South Airlines and Converse vouchers and giveaways.
Users are advised not to click on these empty promises to prevent the scams for spreading further. They can also install Safego, the Bitdefender tool that protects them from social media threats, and keep their antivirus updated.
This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Andrei Serbanoiu, Bitdefender Software Analyst.
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