Sex Appeal Meter Scam and Execution Hoax Abound on Facebook

Cross posted from GFI, Sunbelt Blog:

There’s not a day when we don’t see a new scam or hoax—yes, even the old ones—being proliferated on Facebook. I’ve seen both today. Let’s take a quick look at each one, shall we?

First off, the scam:

The screenshot above is a post generated by the “Sexappeal Meter” app that have spread within the social network. Clicking the “How much Sexappeal you have” link, or sometimes a bit.ly shortened URL, leads users to a page where it requests for permission just like any normal app. Allowing the app access to user profile, however, leads to two succeeding survey scam pages and, eventually, to a page where one can download a browser toolbar.

The first survey scam page is displayed only to users in certain geographical regions, so it’s possible that, say, one in the Netherlands won’t be able to see it; however, this doesn’t mean that they are “less compromised” than those regions this app targets. Access to basic user information and posting rights on Walls granted to the scammers behind “Sexappeal Meter” can be used for malicious purposes. Users who fell for this are advised to change their passwords as soon as possible.

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Hoaxes can be really believable and viral if they’re timely and if they tug at the heartstrings. The case of Youcef Nadarkhani, the pastor who was set to be executed in Iran, is one such example of a good “come hither”.

Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been executed in Iran. He is the pastor who has been imprisoned and found guilty by the courts in Iran of being a Christian. Now he’s been executed in spite of international appeals to spare his life. He was hanged today. Where is the outcry from the White House over the murder of this innocent Christian minister? Where is the outcry from the church in America and around the world? The silence is deafening!

This hoax is found to be making rounds on Tumblr as well:

According to Hoax Slayer, the image used in the hoax has been around since April of 2011. As of this writing,the pastor is pretty much alive and well.

Before sharing something on any social network, especially if they’re related to news, it pays to be diligent in searching online for more details first. We don’t want to be bearers of bad news,  particularly bad news stuffed full of false claims.

Stay safe and surf smart!

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