Friday, January 27, 2012


The State of Washington says Adscend Media grossed $1.2 million a month "lifejacking" unwitting Facebook users.

Facebook and the state have launched lawsuits against the company in what may be the first  time any state government has gone to court in a crackdown against spam spread by Facebook.

 "lifejacking" or “clickjacking” fools users of the world’s top social network into visiting advertising sites, divulging personal information and spreading the scam to friends. Adscend profits from the scam by collecting money from its advertising clients for every Facebook user unwittingly misdirected to a target ad or subscription service.

The lawsuits, the alleged scam works as follows:

Facebook pages designed as “bait” are disseminated to social network users as posts that seemingly originate from friends, offering visitors an opportunity to view salacious or provocative content.That viewing is contingent on completing a series of steps that will supposedly unlock the content but are actually designed to lure Facebook users to other sites, where they are tricked into giving away personal information or signing up for expensive mobile subscription services.

First, the victims are encouraged to click the “Like” button on the Facebook “bait” page, which then alerts their friends to the page’s existence, thus helping propagate it. Then they are told they cannot reach the content without filling out a form for an online survey or advertising offer.

I have been forwarded these bait emails for Twitter and Facebook. Recently, I received a Tweet, suggesting I check out what people were saying about me. The link, from a friend, brought me to a bait site.

Beware, be warned and be careful.

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