From Fame to Shame: Busting the “Free Followers” Myth in Social Media

In continuing our research on scams that offer followers to Instagram users, we found out that similar services for other social networks are also available online.

Among those that we found is this particular Russian site that comes off as a one-stop-shop for those looking to purchase “followers” for social networks like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram.

Figure 1. Scam site selling followers for different social networks

In this particular site, they offer not only followers, but also retweets and likes for particular posts indicated by the customer. The required payment would depend on the number of followers, retweets, or likes preferred. The payment process requires the customer to transact via payment sites like and (for mobile users).

Figure 2. Payment options for buying followers

In the end, as with the other cases we’ve reported, no followers, retweets, or likes is provided to the customer, only the risk of information and money theft.

This comes as an easy way for cybercriminals to make money, since influence in social media depends mainly on the number of followers an entity has. This type of scheme works, as many users are being lured by the idea of acquiring a huge number of followers in a very short amount of time, and with almost no effort at all.

That said, it is important to note to those who are interested in employing such services that doing so leads to more harm than good. These services either just scam their customers by not delivering their promised service, or actually deliver, but do so through dubious means (usage of malicious scripts or botnets).

The site reported above is already blocked by the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network to protect users from being victimized.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – by Trend Micro

From Fame to Shame: Busting the “Free Followers” Myth in Social Media

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Story added 1. August 2013, content source with full text you can find at link above.