Scamwatch: "Total Wipeout Tour" fraud

Thousands of TV show fans fall for new Facebook scam.

ABC's "Wipeout" - Season Four

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we focus on a "Total Wipeout Tour" con that has been doing the rounds on Facebook.

How does it work?

Fraudsters have been using the popular BBC gameshow "Total Wipeout" to lure Facebook users into parting with personal information such as their email addresses.

Thousands of people were taken in by the scam, which claimed to give them the chance to sign up to a "Total Wipeout Tour" in which the obstacle course from the show would be assembled in various locations across the country.

But fraud experts think the tour was a ruse designed to collect data that could then be sold on to spammers and con artists.

Facebook users have been targeted with numerous other scams of this kind over recent years.

Earlier this year, for example, fraudsters capitalised on rumours of a new "Dislike" button being launched to spread malicious software via dodgy download links.

And last year, users of the site were warned not to click on "sexy" videos.

How can I avoid being caught out?
Steps you can take to avoid falling for Facebook scams include being wary of any groups or events that require your personal information to sign up and keeping your computer firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes up to date.

Remember too not to click on any potentially dodgy links, as these could activate software that allows fraudsters to access information on your computer, tablet or phone.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?
If you think you have shared your personal information with fraudsters, it is important to be on your guard against further scams.

Depending on the information given, it may also be worth changing your passwords and login details.

Informing Facebook about fraudulent activity, for example by reporting a group using the ... tab in the top right corner, can help it to take action against the criminals behind the scam.

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Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud