Many phone users have reported receiving SMS messages about a supposed ‘new photo’. The messages have the text ‘(1) new photo was received’ or similar and include a link using URL shortening service zban.co.
Those responsible for the spam campaign are banking on the fact that at least a few recipients will follow the link out of simple curiosity or because they mistakenly believe that a friend has sent them a photograph.
But, if you do follow the link, you will not be taken to a photograph. Instead, you will be taken to one of several decidedly dodgy websites that try to get you to sign up for the dubious services they offer.
During testing for this article, links in some of the spam messages opened a ‘married’ dating website that encourages you to create an account to arrange a ‘discreet’ affair. Other incarnations of the spam message linked to an R rated movie page that claims that you must create an account on a video website before you could view the promised video. Other recipients who follow the link may be taken to different spammy websites.
The different ad payloads are delivered via media-fire.org, an adware server. If the associated software is installed on a PC, the adware server may display unwanted pop-up ads via the user’s web browser.
Some versions may also try to trick users into downloading malware. If you receive one of these text messages, do not follow the link it contains. Just delete it.