Questionable posts from random users—usually from those with a significant number of (bot) followers—are already becoming not uncommon within the photo- and video- sharing social site, Instagram.
In fact, we have encountered a number of them before, with some falsely claiming to increase your follower count—an attempt we’ve seen floating around on Twitter and Facebook in the past—and with others attesting to a mass purge of accounts unless they have been verified.
Recently, we’ve discovered an attempt at baiting users with the lure of catching his/her potentially cheating partner red-handed using a “trusted” service. All one needs is their target’s phone number.
Below is mobile screenshot of the post that my test account received:
Here’s the status post on the image:
WOW WTF!! Find Out Who Your BF/GF IS Texting With This Website! This Is Crazy Man! My Friend Tried It On His Girl And It Worked! Click The Link In @INSTANTPHONELOOKUP BIO And Check It Out Try It For $1, 100% LEGAL!!
I’d like to think that whoever came up with this kind of bait has been following stories revolving around the Ashley Madison hacking incident, probably a little too closely.
Anyway, the link on the profile page of @INSTANTPHONELOOKUP is a bit.ly shortened URL that points to the destination, c[DOT]heaterslookup[DOT]com.
As of this writing, traffic to the destination has reached more than 100K clicks since the bit.ly URL has been created last month. And this is just one of the many high-trafficked sub-pages from the same domain we’ve seen so far.
Clicking the shortened link points to try[DOT]textspy[DOT]us, wherein one is asked to enter their target’s mobile number. Once done, he/she sees a series of pages that were created to make him/her believe that the site is scanning for data related to the number.
The final destination is an advertorial piece written on instantcheckmate[DOT]com entitled “Cheaters Hate This New Website – Here’s Why”.
All links on the said piece point to the aforementioned domain. Those who are still interested in finding out who their partner is texting—and didn’t get what they were looking for on the textspy domain—may find that they now need to cough up money for a service that, the company itself claims, gathers data from publicly available sources.
Although this business is indeed accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), one will find an overwhelming number of complaints and negative reviews versus their very, very short list of satisfied clients.
Users of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware are already protected from accessing c[DOT]heaterslookup[DOT]com, including other sites such as the following that are found to be similar or related to it:
Although it’s tempting to try out such services either out of curiosity or for the fun of it, it’s still best to avoid shenanigans such as these. Your wallet and perhaps your partner will thank you for it.