I can't believe I'm typing this, but: do not click on the baby poop. Seriously. A new fake viral video scam with the tantalizing title "Baby Poops in His Onesie, But Dog’s Response Leaves Millions of People in Hysterics" is tricking Twitter users into handing over access to their accounts.
A spamming account named Twitter Video (meant to be confused with the actual Twitter Video) is tricking users into handing over the access to post tweets, access direct messages and more, with the lure of a gross video and an image of a cute baby and a dog. Once the user bit the bait, the fake Twitter Video began to share that same photo, link and headline through that user's account.
What To Do
If you've fallen victim to this temptation, prying the spammers' grip from your account isn't difficult. Sign into Twitter, click here for connected applications settings, and click Revoke access next to Twitter Video. Then go in, delete the tweet, and share this knowledge with others if you see their accounts get taken over.
To make sure you avoid the scam, and any like it, always look at the URL of the links you're clicking on. The link teasing the baby comes from the domain trending-twitter[.]video which looks legitimate enough to some people for it to be trustworthy, but is not Twitter.com. Further, Twitter and Facebook do not make you log in, or sign away any access, to watch videos.
The results of a search for the clickbait headline via Twitter's Advanced Search shows that the spam attack has been taking place for months, with examples dating back to Sept. 18. The Verge cites victims of the hoax as including Clara Jeffery, editor-in-chief of the political site Mother Jones, and Dwight Garner, the book critic for the New York Times, both of whom have already deleted their tweets.
And don't think you're safe if you just use Facebook and not Twitter, think again. Since historical trends show that memes and other online chaos take a little bit of time to move from Twitter to Facebook, I wasn't surprised to find this tempting phrase and a link to trending-twitter[.]video in Facebook.
Since this scam has proven to be a success, it wouldn't be surprising to see it customized for Facebook in the near future. So remember, don't grant access to any applications or sites just to see a video, no matter how weird or adorable or tempting it may be.
This is just the latest scam this year where malcontents tricked users into handing over permissions for their account, as a massive phishing scam led many to hand over access to their Google accounts via Google Docs. While that scam looked somewhat legit in your inbox, taking the time to scan the name of the other recipients — which included a "email@example.com" made it easy to see something was clearly wrong.
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.