“OMG mother went to jail” Facebook scam spreads virally

Sophos is warning Facebook users about a new scam that is spreading quickly across the social network pretending to be a link to a photograph of a baby boy taken by his mother.

The messages, which are being posted on users’ Facebook pages, read “OMG!! Guys, you have to see this: This mother went to jail for taking this pic of her son!”

Similar to the recent “Never Gonna Drink Coca-Cola Again” scam, the attack encourages users to “like” a Facebook page, tricking them into sharing the link on their wall before they are able to access the image. When users have completed these necessary steps, a fake security check then appears asking users to take part in an online survey.

The scammers make money from directing traffic to the online surveys, which gather personal information. In some cases the surveys claim that participants will be sent a free iPad as a prize for participating.

“Criminals these days don’t need to spam out their scams – they can rely on the public to spread them for them. Far too many people are prepared to endorse and share links on Facebook without properly thinking about what they are doing. In this case, they’re doing it before they have any clue about what lies behind the page” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

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