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Scams Visit the iPhone And Return To Facebook

Last week, I wrote about some shady subscription offers by companies offering free credit reports and free credit scores. TechCrunch has a good review of some shady offers and scams affecting social media users:

"In our Scamville series of posts last October we exposed the massive user fraud occurring Facebook and MySpace social games. Fake quizzes tied to long term mobile subscriptions, malware-laden toolbar downloads and other scams were the center of the controversy. The industry did a lot of talking in the wake of those posts and some long term changes have been made... But now we’re seeing the same old scams hit the iPhone. And the same players, particularly OfferPal Media and SuperRewards and now Google, are powering those scams. Specifically we’re seeing SMS-subscription offers, which trick users into putting long term subscriptions on their mobile phones (or their parent’s mobile phones)."

What makes these shady offers so bad:

"Users are offered virtual currency in exchange for answering a quiz or some other seemingly harmless offer. But once they click through and answer the quiz questions they’re told they need to enter their mobile phone number to get quiz results. Often there is fine print outlining the charges. But the already tiny print is completely unreadable on a mobile screen, making that disclosure meaningless even when it appears. SMS subscription scams are among the most lucrative offers to game publishers because users get a recurring fee of $10 – $25 per month..."

Zwinky returns to Facebook:

"We’ve also seen offers for the Zwinky toolbar back on Facebook games. When Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said “I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away” he was talking about Zwinky, one of the most hated malware wrappers on the Internet..."

Where is the FTC on these social media scams?


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