Head and Shoulders will not cause a gruesome skin injury. But a Facebook post that says, “You Will Not Use Head and Shoulders Shampoo After Watching This Video,” is nothing more than a scam designed to trick users into completing surveys.
The video includes a Photoshopped image of a festering sore on one’s skin. It also has a play button over it to entice people to click on it.
However, when users click on the the post, they’re taken to website that asks them to first share it before going further–a telltale sign of a scam website. The website is designed like Facebook to further trick people.
After that, users are asked to complete surveys. The surveys are how the scammers behind the website make their money.
“Sharing this web page will only help spread this scam to other Facebook users. And, completing the surveys will only generate revenue for the cybercriminals behind this scam,” reads security blog site Online Threat Alerts. “The victim on the other hand, will not be able to view the video that they were promised, because it doesn’t exist.”
If one has shared the post, it’s best to delete it from your Facebook wall and un-“like” it.
Regarding the image, it “itself is a hoax, a fabrication that imitates a fake photograph of a breast rash caused by ‘South American larvae’ which has been circulating on the Internet since 2003. This same fabricated image was earlier used as the subject of a Twitter jape,” Snopes.com says of the scam. The image appears to be of a lotus seed pod Photoshopped to look like skin.
According to another security blogger, Graham Clulely, Facebook has said it’s trying to deal with spam.
“Some stories in News Feed use inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads. For instance, often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads,” Facebook said a few months ago.
However, there appears to be not much progress in this regard, with scams going viral on a regular basis.
“The fraudsters earn affiliate cash by getting you to complete a survey, and can trick the system further by resharing the link from your account to pass onto your online friends and family,” he writes. “Of course, the real YouTube site never asks you to complete a survey before watching a video.”
“So, I think Facebook has a lot of work to do still – right now the stream of information showing up in users’ newsfeeds still contains too much pollution.”