If you see this on Facebook: "Breaking news — Leaked video of Casey Anthony CONFESSING to lawyer!" — don't click on it. It's fake. It isn't malware that can harm your computer, but it is annoyingware that could irritate your friends.
Of course, it's tempting to want to see it, nearly a week after Anthony was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, with much of the country outraged about the verdict, and a good deal of that anger being shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
"With such huge media interest in the case and its outcome, scammers have leapt upon the opportunity to take advantage for their own financial ends," writes Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant on the security company's blog.
"If you make the mistake of clicking on the links spreading across Facebook, you will be taken to an all-too-familiar sight" for other fake Facebook videos:
"Jaa," says Cluley, is Finnish for "share," and "the scammers want you to help them spread the link far and wide by getting you to Share it with your Facebook friends and family." Facebook users are being asked to do that before they see any video, he says.
"If one of your Facebook friends see that you have shared the link via your newsfeed, they might believe that you are endorsing the claim that this is a video of Casey Anthony confessing to her lawyer — and click on it themselves.
"Because you'll ultimately be taken to a page which pretends to be YouTube, but is really designed to trick you into taking a survey that earns commission for the scammers." Here's what that looks like:
"In other words, the more traffic they bring to the survey page — by tricking you into sharing it — the more money they could make," Cluley says.
What you do get if you continue with this ruse is a July 5 TV news report of Casey Anthony being acquitted. And we'd hazard a guess that you've seen that many times now.
Here's what Sophos recommends if you do get hit by the scam: "Make sure you have removed the entries from your news feed (to stop them being shared amongst your friends) and check your profile has not any unwanted "Likes" under your "Likes and interests."
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