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
"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
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.