The Big Business of Spam: Stay clear of these “too-hot-to-miss” sale opportunities from your Facebook Friends

Jul 20, 15 The Big Business of Spam: Stay clear of these “too-hot-to-miss” sale opportunities from your Facebook Friends

We’ve previously warned about deals that are too good to be true ( – and with summer in full swing, the Barracuda Labs team has seen more and more false domains like (, and popping up in feeds and social media timelines. Our Labs team ran a background check on the domains and many of them appear to be registered in China, including the domain listed above.

While browsing your Facebook or Twitter timelines, you may have come across “sponsored ads” that seem too good to be true. Most can be spotted immediately and swiftly ignored; however, you may have been tagged in a post or received a message on your personal timeline posted by a friend, directing you to a killer sale. See figure 1 for an example.


Figure 1.

The example above shows an ad for Ray Ban, a popular sunglass retailer whose classic sunglasses range from $155 to $200, that looks as though it was shared by a regular user or even a friend on Facebook. The ad targets unsuspecting consumers looking to score the name brand sunglasses for up to 80% off.


Figure 2.

The idea here, like any scam, is to entice unknowing consumers to jump on the hot deals and “buy” the Ray Ban’s at such low prices. Once the links are clicked on, the consumer is redirected to what looks like a legitimate discount website that is offering deals with up to 80% savings on multiple styles, see Figure 2 and Figure 3 for examples.


Figure 3.

The phisher hopes that the deal is too good for the consumer to pass up and engages in purchasing the product. Here, the phisher is hoping the consumer will enter their personal data like first and last name, emails address, personal home address and credit card information, to then flip and sell to third parties.

It is always smart to use best practices when shopping online. Here are a few tips:

  • Do a bit of research and go directly to the name brand website to see what offers are on the official website
  • Look for plain websites as a warning, as they are quickly put together with minimal tabs and functionality
  • Look for poor grammar and misspellings; because these fake sites are so quickly put together, often times spell checking isn’t their highest priority

Barracuda Labs encourages – if you do get tagged in an ad like this or find it posted to your wall – immediately untag yourself and delete it from your wall so you can avoid letting your friends or family members fall victim to the scam as well.

For more resources on the Big Business of Spam, you can see previous posts here: