Facebook message featuring a video teaser image depicting a strange growth on a person’s shoulder claims that the growth was caused by using a type of shampoo. The message advises users to click a link and watch the “most shocking video ever seen” to learn more.
The message is a scam designed to trick you into spamming your Facebook friends and participating in bogus online surveys. The claim that the supposed growth was caused by shampoo is a lie. Nor is it any sort of “government warning” as claimed in some versions of the scam. The fake image uses a manipulated picture of a lotus seedpod and is similar to a long running hoax that supposedly depicts a breast rash that harboured live larvae. Do not click any links in this scam message.
GOVERNMENT WARNING: You Will Never Use This Bath Shampoo After Viewing This!You must watch this video to save yourself and your family from this disease
A post currently being distributed on Facebook claims that you won’t use Head and Shoulder shampoo ever again after you click to see the video. An earlier version purports to be a ‘Government Warning’ and claims that a type of ‘bath shampoo’ is causing a disease that you and your family need to know about.
The post features an image of a strange growth on a person’s shoulder. The message advises you to click the image to view a video with more information.
However, the claims in the message are lies. It is certainly not any type of government warning. The ‘bath shampoo’ disease depicted in the image does not exist and there is no video. The teaser image of the shoulder growth is the result of digital manipulation.
If you click on the image in the post, you will be taken to a fake Facebook Page that supposedly hosts the video. But, when you attempt to play the video, a pop-up message will advise that you must first share the Page as a means of proving that you are the owner of the Facebook account.
But, even if you dutifully share the scam page with all of your Facebook friends as instructed, you will still not get to see the promised video. Instead, you will be taken to a fake YouTube page that once again appears to host the video.
But, another pop-up message will inform you that, before you can view the footage, you must first participate in an online survey, ostensibly to ‘verify your age’. The message contains a list of links to various surveys.
However, even after completing several surveys, you will still not get to see the video, which never existed to begin with.
The surveys will try to get you to provide your personal information and enter your mobile phone number, supposedly to go in the draw for various prizes. But, by submitting your mobile number, you will actually be subscribing to an absurdly expensive SMS ‘service’ that will be charged at several dollars per text message. And, the details you provide may be shared with other Internet marketing groups and you may subsequently be inundated with unwanted phone calls, emails and junk mail.
Meanwhile, the scammer responsible for the fake message will earn money via an affiliate marketing system each time a victim participates in a survey.
The bogus image used in the scam message appears to have been created by taking a photograph of a lotus seedpod and digitally combining it with a photograph of a person’s shoulder.
The image is strongly reminiscent of a long-running hoax image that supposedly depicts a larvae infested rash on a woman’s breast. The breast rash image was also created using a picture of a lotus seedpod.
‘Shocking video’ scams like this one are now very common on Facebook. Be wary of any message that claims that you can view ‘shocking video’ or ‘breaking news video’ by clicking a teaser image or link.
If you do click on one of these messages, and subsequent pages claim that you must share the information and/or participate in surveys before you can view the footage, do not proceed.
Last updated: March 8, 2017
First published:July 31, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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