In an inevitable turn of events, cybercriminals leveraged the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs through Facebook scams within hours after the announcement.
The particular scam we found involves a website, which claims that Apple has decided to give away 1,000 iPads in memory of Steve Jobs. The said site displays the following:
The site asks users to share the page, in order to be eligible to get an iPad. Following the instructions directs users to an ad site while in the background, the link is posted on their Facebook wall.
As dubious as the offer sounds, it seems like some users are still falling for the scheme, as we are seeing an increasing number of posts bearing the website’s URL.
The catch behind this scam is that there is no such offer from Apple and that the only ones who will get anything from it are scammers who will earn money from the ads displayed every time a user is tricked into following the instructions. Also, as more users share the link, the number of potential victims also increases, along with the profit of the scammers behind the ruse.
The death of known people have become staple topics of social engineering schemes in past years. Just a couple of months ago, we saw scams that took advantage of the death of singer Amy Winehouse as well as rumors of the death of Lady Gaga.
Users are advised not to click similar posts if they see them on their Facebook newsfeeds. We also suggest that users educate those who have been tricked to stop the spread of such scams.
For more information on threats leveraging social networking sites, check out our infographic, The Geography of Social Media Threats.
Access to the mentioned website is now blocked by Web reputation technology. Users of the latest version of Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security are also protected from this through the social networking security feature.
Update as of October 7, 2011, 4:31 AM PST
We are seeing more and more Facebook users being tricked by the “iPad giveway in memory of Steve Jobs” scam.
As previously stated, users are advised to not only refrain from clicking the links in such posts, but also educate other users about the scam to prevent its spreading.