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.
A screenshot of the spam message:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!