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Facebook Phishing Scam Bills Your Cell Phone


We've already expressed our distaste for Facebook quizzes; we're just plain tired of our Facebook accounts being bombarded with requests to 'Find Out How Well You Know Your Town' or 'What 1980s Film Character Do You Most Resemble.' After reading this story at WCPO.com, we can add one more entry to the list of reasons we would like to see these applications disappear; phishers are now using quizzes to steal information from your cell phone account and place extra fees on your bill.

According to the story from ABC's Cincinnati affiliate, a woman was asked to enter her cell phone number in order to receive her score from an IQ test she took on Facebook. Thinking the application didn't accept her number the first time, Leanne Saylor entered it two more times. When she opened her cell phone bill later that month, Saylor saw three charges for text message services, amounting to a total of $44. Apparently, she failed to read the fine print on the quiz, which stated that monthly fees apply. Luckily, AT&T blocked future months' fees.

Take a lesson from Saylor, though. Never give out your phone number, or any other personal information, to these applications. It's too great a risk to take just to see if you have a higher IQ than your friends. [From WCPO.com]

Top Eight Online Hoaxes

    Everything Must Go

    A farmer's house was cleaned out out after Craigslist ads said that all his possessions were being offered up for free. The man lost thousands of dollars worth of his stuff, and, unfortunately, this isn't the only incident of its kind. Last year, a woman's niece posted a similar ad, which led to people stripping everything from the aunt's empty apartment, including light fixtures. And recently, someone tried the same thing on a Massachusetts family, but they happened to be home when the gatherers arrived.

    Photoshopping Dupes America
    In 2000, a photo of a giant cat named Snowball was forwarded around the Internet and posted on many Web sites. The accompanying story was that a man had an 87-pound cat that was born to a mother that lived near a nuclear lab. The story spread so far that it was discussed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Good Morning America. Unfortunately, it was just computer-manipulated image made by Cordell Hauglie, the man in the picture, yet people still haven't realized that you can't believe everything you see on the Web.

    Stick To Match.com, People!

    Getting sexy messages from somebody you don't know should set off some warning bells, but apparently there will always be people, mostly men, who believe they're about to score big. There are loads of tales like this, including a man who showed up naked at a house in New Zealand after misleading text messages and a Saudi Arabian who was robbed by teenagers when he showed up for a good time. Seriously, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

    Still Too Good to Be True

    What's better than meeting someone online for love? Getting paid to do it, which is how an Australian farmer found himself kidnapped in . Several men pretended to be a woman, enticing Des Gregor, 53, to come to to get married and receive $85,000 in gold as dowry. When he got there, he was taken hostage and threatened with having his limbs hacked off unless he paid them the same amount. Fortunately, police duped the kidnappers and Gregor was safe. Gregor learned his lesson, apparently – "Just be careful - make sure you check everything out 100 per cent," he said.

    Watch Out For Those Cameras

    With the amount of people embarrassed or worse by leaked photos and videos of bad behavior online, it's no wonder that they'd be used for blackmail. This is exactly what happened to a 75-year-old Amish widower after he slept with a prostitute. The woman and her boyfriend extorted $67,000 from the man, saying there was a camera installed in his bedroom and that photos of the trysts would go online. Fortunately, the pair and two accomplices were arrested. So much for the Amish being behind in technology.

    High Salary, Low Discretion

    Seeing a job posting that promises thousands of dollars for at-home work will most likely get a lot of applicants and a lot of non-believers. Still, almost 80 people, including lawyers, were allegedly hired to work for a financial company doing research and all sorts of projects for $14,000 a month. They had conference calls, corporate e-mail addresses, contracts, and direct deposit forms, but after they didn't get paid for a few weeks, they realized it was all fake. There was no such company, the owner disappeared, and nobody knows what happened. So beware – if that job listing sounds amazing, do your research before you end up duped.

    Scamming the Scammers

    You've probably heard about or even received an e-mail about getting funds from or another African country if you send them a small sum. This is called 419 fraud, and rather than sit idly by, Michael Berry founded 419eater.com as a way to get revenge. The site encouraged people to bait the scammers, often to get the Nigerians to take pictures holding up offensive signs in English. Some users were successful in getting cash sent to them, although this was discouraged. Either way, it's good to know that anyone can be had, even the perpetrators.

    Times Gets Owned in Joke Article

    The phenomenon of Rickrolling has become so popular that even the New York Times covered it. Unfortunately for that respected paper, the coverage of the story found it getting getting duped by a Youtube video made by a student at Eastern Washington University . The article talked about a video that showed the student interrupting a timeout at a women's basketball game and somehow playing the song over the PA system. Unfortunately, this never happened and the video was a fake. So, an article on a prank ends up getting pranked too. Is there no end to this madness?

Tags: apps, facebook, identity theft, IdentityTheft, phishing, top

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