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Fake Toy Story 3 scams creates malign buzz

Woody's Roundup rogues

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Scammers have taken advantage of the buzz around the recent release of Toy Story 3 to bait bogus survey sites and pop-up software scams.

The bogus sites ostensibly punting complete, steaming media downloads of the latest adventures of Buzz and Woody actual redirect the credulous through a thicket of potentially harmful and time wasting material. Variants of the scam offer Toy Story 3 games.

As with a previous similar scam themed around the series finale of Doctor Who, the whole exercise is a con designed to trick gullible surfers into completing dodgy surveys while offering nothing in return, warns Chris Boyd, a security researcher at Sunbelt Software.

Prospective marks are invited to turn off Ad-Block before completing the surveys, a tactic designed to enable the perpetrators of the scams to rake in extra income by serving pop-up ads.

Some of the sites even invite users to download executables of dodgy provenance while other redirect surfers to smut movie sites, a especially nasty touch given so many kids will be attracted to the initial false offer. In some cases, marks are invited to sign up for subscription-based SMS services of dubious utility.

"These types of surveys have taken over from ad-ware as a security menace," Boyd told El Reg. "You can look in the cache of sites or for other clues to get an idea of what content is ultimately served up. In all the cases I've seen there's no content on offer."

A blog entry from Boyd providing a comprehensive run-down of the scams on offer can be found here. ®

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