Fact Check

Spider Under the Skin Video Scam

Scam os spread via notices of a 'spider under the skin' video.

Published Jul 24, 2011

Phishing bait:   Offer of a spider under the skin video clickjacks users into a survey scam.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2011]

There is a video going around on FACEBOOK about a spider living under a girls skin. Very graphic and gross as there is a hole in her side and they are pulling some gross stuff out of The hole. This video is said to be a virus.

There are two new Trojan Spam Viruses going around. Both are videos. One is about a man dropping his daughter to catch a ball and the other is about a spider living under a girl's skin . DO NOT OPEN EITHER OF THEM !! Please repost !!!WARNING!!!


Origins:   In a phishing scam similar to the Casey Anthony confession video hoax, in July 2011 messages were spread via Facebook entreating those of a prurient bent to examine a video showing a spider under a girl's skin.

There was no such video, however. Those who click the proffered link found themselves confronted by an "Age verification" confirmation box that read "Are you older than 18 years of age?

Those who activated the button granted their permission for the link to be shared with their Facebook network. In this manner, the unsuspecting initiated the dispatch of automated entreaties to view the non-existent video to all of their contacts, thus luring even more people into the scam.

Those who did click the "age verification" link eventually arrived at a (fake) YouTube page where they were asked to complete an online survey before being

allowed to view the video. This survey generated traffic and revenue for the scammers. Some who clicked on the fake YouTube page reported being taken to a hardcore porn page.

A later version of the scam offered a link to a video of a father who dropped his daughter to catch a foul ball at a baseball game. While there was video of such an occurrence,
the link offered in the Facebook phishing scam actually took those who clicked it to the "spider under a girl's skin" con.

While such forms of phishing are not themselves viruses or trojans, they do sometimes entice the unwary into unwittingly downloading viruses or trojans via clickjacking — items labeled as one thing turn out to be very different things (e.g. the "Play" button mentioned above that instead grants permission for the scam to send notifications about the video to the dupe's contact list). While sometimes those "very different things" might be survey scams, at others they will be malware intended for installation on the user's computer. Therefore, it's a mistake to assume all buttons labeled "Play" or "Confirm" actually are what they appear to be.

Last updated:   14 August 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.