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Insecurity sells

 Internet scams seem to aim at our most primordial instincts. Some of the noteworthy lures have been:

— Sex. How many “sex videos” can all the celebrities in the world really make?
— Fear of losing one’s health: thus there are thousands of “Canadian” pharmacy sites (in China) pushing all kinds of questionable medications.
— Making fast wealth: which brought us those 419 scams that seem to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s annual gross domestic product.

And now there’s a new one: the fear that one of your friends on Facebook no longer likes you.

Above is the Facebook post that will take you to this app:

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

[Side note (see red box in graphic): How insecure do you have to be to sign up for Facebook just to find out if a friend has deleted you? If you don’t have a Facebook account you don’t HAVE any Facebook friends yet! OR, who besides Bernard Madoff is so unpopular that people unfriend them on Facebook before they set up an account?]

Unless you’ve been living deep in the forest with only a dial-up Internet connection for the last five years, you’ve probably seen this before. The app must “protect” its content, so it requires you to play a game or “Save $$$ on Auto Insurance.”  That isn’t exactly a computer security authentication scheme that’s on the test for Certified Information Systems Security Professionals.


To make this short: they collect your name, email address and cell-phone number then try to sell you  a subscription to get a quiz and two clues for $9.99 (billed to your cell phone) each month.

So if you’re really insecure about your Facebook friends, it’s going to cost you. And even if you don’t subscribe, just going this far results in your Facebook account being used to spread ads to all your friends about this loony service.


Which will give them more than ample grounds to unfriend you.

Tom Kelchner