The Anatomy of a MySpace Scam

Recently, my Gmail inbox has received "New MySpace Comment" alert emails much more frequently than usual. Oddly, these comments are often times posted by Friends who rarely, if ever, converse with me via MySpace. Without fail, upon logging in to the social networking giant I find something similar to the image to the right has been posted on my page.

There is a picture (that looks like a video) coupled with some descriptive text that presents a compelling "click on me" pitch. I admit, at first I fell for the scam. I clicked on the picture trying to get the video to play (I’m only human, and male).

Now here is where the scam kicks in. Upon clicking on this faux-video I was taken to a login
screen asking for my username and password. To the naked eye the log in page looks completely normal, so most people have no problem providing their log in information. Below, on the left is an example of a scam log in page compared to the regular MySpace log in page.

Although these two pages look almost identical there is one major difference: the URL. On the left, the URL is http://rnyspacei.com/ while on the right the URL http://www.myspace.com/ – often an unnoticeable difference. (By the way, the Compete Toolbar will let you know if you are on a phishing site.)

Upon logging in to the scam page your username and password are collected, giving the scam artist the ability to broadcast fake comments under the guise of you. The culprits are frequently adult sites and fake promotions designed to gather as much information about you as possible.

In order to stay covert these fake sign in sites come and go each month. The http://rnyspacei.com/ example shown above did not even exist in August of this year and then attracted more than 120,000 US unique visitors in September.

As you may expect, people are reacting unfavorably to the unwanted annoyance of MySpace scams. And you may have also noticed that while MySpace is being overrun with spam, Facebook has opened its API and created a whole new application buzz. As a result, MySpace users are viewing less pages of content per visit while Facebook holds its ground.

The bottom line is MySpace scams are annoying, real annoying. As a result people are becoming less engaged.

Oh yea, one more thing. If your MySpace page gets hijacked, and you notice that your account is posting comments on all your friend’s pages, simply change your password to defeat the problem.

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