Is Justin Bieber taking over your Facebook profile?
Users who install the Bieberflirting application get an unwelcome surprise.
The 16-year-old pop culture sensation, who rose to stardom riding the wave of YouTube, Twitter and other forms of social media, is also the unwilling poster child of many malicious scams that are circulating all over the Internet.
The latest, a rogue Facebook app called Bieberflirting (which has since been removed from the site), generated status updates with a link claiming to show off Bieber’s fledgling flirting skills. Rather than seeing the pint-sized Moptop work on his game with the girls, however, the link sent unsuspecting fans to a page requesting permission to access their profiles.
Users who installed Bieberflirting lost at least partial control of their Facebook accounts as the nasty application spread around to their friends and contacts.
“You’ve just given it access to grab your personal information and to post messages on your wall,” explained Graham Cluley, a technology consultant for data security firm Sophos, in a blog post explaining how to remove the app.
Other chart-topping Bieber tech scams
This isn’t the first time that scammers have used Bieber-mania to entice users.
-Last April, a bogus Twitter campaign claimed that Bieber would be giving away 5,000 signed iPads.
“Justin Bieber is Giving a Signed iPad To The First 5000 Lucky Fans that go winaipad.net and enter in their 10 digit phone number!”, read the tweet that spread like wildfire.
According to Cyber Defender, that site redirected fans to another page that asked them to provide their digits. Those unfortunate enough to hand over that information were on the hook for a $9.99 monthly subscription to a service called Ringtone’s Hot Unlimited Club.
A similar hoax claiming to offer Justin Bieber concert tickets in exchange for a mobile number even acknowledged the $9.99 fee, but claimed no billing would happen “since this is a test!”
-Last month, users searching for Justin Bieber videos on YouTube were instead redirected to links for adult videos. Malicious code hidden in the comments section beneath the videos was later used to send phony error messages claiming that Bieber had died in a car accident.
-Another Facebook scam claimed to have access to Bieber’s cell phone number, which allegedly provided by a scorned ex girlfriend. Like the Bieberflirting application, fans clicking the link to access Bieber’s number were redirected to another page. Here, gullible users were asked a number of personal questions, invited to open their wallets to another phony monthly subscription, and of course, share the fun with the rest of their Facebook friends.
-Not only is Bieber young enough to have been portrayed in a Mark Twain novel, but Internet rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated. While phony death reports extend to many celebrities, Bieber wins the prize for likely being the only music hero rumored to tour North Korea.
The truth, of course, is often stranger than fiction. For every Facebook scam hoping to score a mobile number or personal information, there are cases like this guy trying to train his cat to lash out against Bieber. Fans can also safely tap into one of the many dozens of iPhone apps dedicated to the Canadian pop sensation.