You Will Not Use Head and Shoulders Shampoo After Watching This Video

Scam bait video purportedly shows the deleterious results of using Head and Shoulders shampoo.

  • Published 26 June 2014
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Claim

Video shows the deleterious results of using Head & Shoulders shampoo.

I saw this on Facebook and left and image I can't get rid of. What is this? It said it's the cause of using head and shoulders shampoo. Which I USE!! PLEASE help me figure out what is going on and what this thing is suppose to be on the person's body. A video is going around that you have to share on FB before you can watch it. It claims Dove shampoo caused this huge, creepy growth on a person's shoulder that has these spores or pods growing in it.

Collected via Facebook, June 2014

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Origin

In June 2014 Facebook users began seeing posts pointing to a purported video clip entitled “You Will Not Use Head & Shoulders Shampoo After Watching This Video,” which supposedly graphically illustrated the deleterious effects of using that popular brand of shampoo. (Later versions substituted Dove brand shampoo for Head & Shoulders.) The static image accompanying the posts was the one displayed above, which allegedly pictures some form of bizarre injury or infection that befall a user of that brand of shampoo.

The image itself is a hoax, a fabrication that imitates a notorious fake photograph of a supposed ‘breast rash caused by South American larvae’ (created by merging a picture of a lotus seed pod with a picture of a human shoulder) which has been circulating on the Internet since 2003 and that was earlier used as the subject of a Twitter jape:

The referenced video does not exist, and the purpose of the hoax was to serve as a lure in leading users to yet another survey scam: those who clicked through on the teaser link hoping to view the Head & Shoulders video were instead taken to a screen that forced them to first share the link with others on Facebook and/or verify their age by completing a survey that promised a $100 VISA Gift Card for its completion:

Of course, getting that “free” $100 gift card required — as explained in tiny type at the bottom of the survey page — that participants first sign up for several different offers, each of which required them to purchase something, subscribe to something, or apply (and be accepted for) a credit card or loan:

Purchase Requirements. Incentives are split into two tiers: Tier 1 incentives with a value of $100 or less and Tier 2 incentives with a value more than $100. To qualify for a Tier 1 incentive you must complete 2 Silver, 2 Gold and 1 Platinum offer. To qualify for a Tier 2 incentive, you must complete 2 Silver, 2 Gold, and 6 Platinum offers. You must complete all offers within 30 days from when you complete your first offer. Completion of offers usually requires a purchase, subscription or filing a credit application and being accepted for a financial product such as a credit card or consumer loan.

The best way to handle such scamming come-ons is to give them a wide berth: do not click through on associated links, don’t share those links on Facebook, and do not participate in any related surveys.