The mere mention of a sex tape, let alone a link on Twitter to the video, is enough to get some guys' blood flowing and their fingers clicking on what turn out to be harmful websites. Case in point: A new scam capitalizing on the popularity of Jenna-Louise Coleman.
The 25-year-old British actress was just named as the newest cast member on the popular BBC series "Doctor Who," and within hours of the announcement, her name became a trending topic on Twitter. This popularity brought online scammers out of the woodwork to try to capitalize on the Web traffic, researchers at the security firm Sophos noted.
Many of the links using Coleman's name or Doctor Who as hashtags had nothing at all to do with the show, but instead made references to sex tapes, amateur porn and webcam videos, some purported to involve Coleman.
"Human nature being what it is, you probably wouldn't be that surprised if some sci-fi fans clicked on the links out of err ... curiosity," Sophos' Graham Cluley wrote.
The Doctor Who and Coleman links, Cluley noted, redirected eager browsers to an Asian hard-core porn website. Each thumbnail image on the graphic home page hid a secret Twitter follow button, Cluley said, tricking victims into following a Twitter account — a cybercrime tactic called "clickjacking."
Scams like this are relatively common: You take a sexy and popular celebrity, mix in the promise of a sex tape and the convenience of one-click viewing, and you've got a volatile concoction. Other stars targeted in social networking sex tape scams have included Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and Charlie Sheen.
Make sure you know what you're clicking on when you browse Twitter; Cluley suggested a browser plug-in like NoScript, which protects against clickjacking attempts by informing you if a website is trying to redirect you to a potentially harmful page.
Running strong anti-virus software is also a safe bet to keep you out of trouble, as is good, old-fashioned common sense.
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