The scheme itself is not new but such types of scam are usually not spread via SMS.
The scheme works by people going to several websites, signing up and receiving an account with unique URL containing new user’s name. If another person is redirected to this URL and registers on this pyramid website using this URL, then the user ‘receives $5’. However there is no way to claim this money.
Referral link and no non-existing ‘withdraw’ links
It is classic pyramid scheme. In fact, even clicking on the website yourself once you sign up for an account increases your money by $5. Once people create their 'account' then then try to spread it by typing the website into Facebook, Twitter and SMS messages and forwarding it on to different people. Some of the examples are below:
http:// [removed].com/?id=[removed] go to this link for more info..
[removed].com/?id=annyylondono go make money
http:// [removed].com/?id=[removed] click on this for me and sign up please karrie
Click on this http:// [removed].com/?userid=[removed]
Click this link so i can get me some money http:// [removed].com/?id=[removed]
http:// [removed].com/?id=[removed] Hey. Click that link for me! Help me out! No joke. I'd appreciate it!(:"
In addition these pyramid websites contain advertisement URLs leading to InstallBrain adware which pretends to be yet another codec ‘for better performance’.
At this point, we believe the main aims of this scam are generating traffic for advertising and secondary spreading of unwanted applications and information harvesting. Unfortunately this is not the first or last campaign of this type and we remind people to stay away from such ‘profitable’ suggestions on the Internet regardless of the source of the information.