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Beware: Draw Something Twitter scam

29 March 2012

Just like jokes, the old scams are the best scams. They only become old because they work; and the surprising thing is that they continue to work despite all the warnings from researchers like Graham Cluley.

Sophos has found a new version of an old scam, this time using the runaway success of the Draw Something app (hundreds of millions of downloads to iPhones and Androids since it was launched last month). When something is so successful, it will be tweeted. While writing this report, I noticed about 50 new ‘draw something’ tweets per minute. And when that happens, the scammers aren’t far behind.

Sophos has already found a Twitter account targeting Twitter users who have mentioned ‘Draw Something’ in recent tweets. “The Twitter account,” writes Cluley, “which is not affiliated with OMGPop [the New York software house that created the app], claims it is giving away 5000 prizes to ‘lucky’ Draw Something fans, and that players can claim their award by visiting a newly-created website called drawsomethingwinner.com.”

Needless to say, visiting the website does not get you a prize: it’s “an all-too-familiar survey scam. Your chances of ever receiving a prize are remote - chances are that you will either end up handing over personal information, or will be helping the original scammer earn commission.” But the most telling part of the story comes in Cluley’s closing comments: “We've reported the account as spam to Twitter, and hopefully they'll shut it down soon. But it wouldn't be a surprise to see more Draw Something-related scams both on Twitter and perhaps on Facebook also given its tremendous popularity... Well, what do you know.. as soon I tweeted about this, I instantly got a response from a different Twitter scam account...”

This article is featured in:
Internet and Network Security

 

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