Holy Strokes! Scam Targets SXSW Music

Watch what you download

By Scott Budman
|  Monday, Mar 14, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 AM PDT
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Holy Strokes! Scam Targets SXSW Music

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We love The Strokes, but be careful.

They're the latest target for online scammers: Hip musicians, setting up as you read this, to play for the hip crowd gathered in Texas for the SXSW festival.

And you, the music fan, could be the victim if you're not careful.

San Francisco-based security software company PC Tools is tracking the scam, and says you should beware of terms like "free ringrone offers," "free lyrics" showing up in your e-mail inbox.  Also, specific bands are targeted in the scams, so if you're a fan of The Strokes, Cee Lo, or Duran Duran (OK, quick aside: which one of these acts doesn't belong? - but I digress), be extra careful.  They're about to play at SXSW, and not all the web traffic they're generating is good for you.

This, to paraphrase the Strokes, is not hard to explain. When surfers click on the bogus free offer, and your mobile carrier could be billed for charges you don't even know about. Lots of clicks, and this could add up fast. Scammers can also upload a malicious program to your computer, embedding the malware on the back of a link that you click.

So, if you're surfing for music, be extra careful, and don't go (here I go again) trying your luck.  According to PC Tools, you should only click on links you know and trust 100%. Anything else, and a web scammer might be saying, "F*&k You."

Scott wishes he were there, listening to the music.  He's on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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