Here’s the latest scam to make its home on Facebook.
A link shows up in one of your friends’ status that says, “I am part of the 98.3% of people that are NEVER gonna drink Coca Cola again after this HORRIFIC video.”
When you click the link, you are given the runaround (the video doesn’t exist at all) until finally you are taken to a poll that asks you to reveal personal information.
It’s almost as if the crooks have figured out how to make money off Facebook before Facebook did (Facebook has attracted billions from venture capitalists, but from what I’ve heard, they’ve yet to actually stumble upon a working business model).
When you’re on Facebook, you simply cannot implicitly trust links, even when posted by a friend. That goes double for links to ‘scandalous’ videos or images, such as the example here. Your friend’s account may have been compromised, or they might be posting links in an attempt to receive some form of payout or reward.
If you’re looking at a shortened URL (such as bit.ly), use a site like LongURL to preview it before you go. However, the URL might not necessarily be shortened (as in this case), although you can still use LongURL to preview most sites.
Another way to check is to google a phrase from the link, to see if news of a scam or phishing attack pops up. Again, though, if it’s brand new, the word might not have gotten out yet (and it takes time for things to appear in a Google search anyway).
Whatever you do, exercise caution at all times, and never enter personal information or passwords on any site that you arrived at via Facebook or Twitter. Once you’re logged in, there is no reason to log in again, and there is exactly zero reason to reveal nonpublic personal information.