Scammers have identified Facebook as an easy place to make money. Using social engineering techniques the scammers use sensational or extreme headlines which people post in their ‘status updates’. In most instances these so called shocking stories are survey scams.
Latest 22/03/11: Facebook Firefox extension survey scam in circulation. According to Symantec, Firefox users who use Facebook are being targeted by a rogue “Facebook Connect” Firefox extension. This extension isn’t available from the Mozilla Add-ons website but on a third-party website. If you have installed the extension it will open a remote website in a pop-up browser window each time you type in www.facebook.com. If you have installed this browser extension, then you can uninstall it: Tools > Add-ons > facebookconnect 1.0
In most instances clicking a link (text, image or video) will take you to a webpage which then entices you into allowing permission for your Facebook account to access a third party application. By allowing the application access to your profile it will start automatically spreading the sensational or extreme headlines (see example below) to your Facebook friends. The scammers know that this is the quickest way to viral their scam. The survey will be presented before you watch some video footage for example. Complete the survey and the scammers will receive a nice commission! The more you share the link the more commission the scammers will make.
Example: I’ve just seen who checks me out the most here on Facebook! You can see who stalks you too! http://todayurl.com/stalker
Here is how you remove the offending post and third party Facebook application:
- Remove the offending post (link/video) by left clicking on the ‘x’ and click remove, hide or report the link as spam – this will stop it from spreading to your friends
- Click on ‘Account’ top right
- Scroll down to ‘Apps and websites’ bottom left
- Click on ‘Edit your settings’
- Click on ‘Edit settings’ to the right of ‘Apps you use’* This will list the third party apps (desktop and mobile) that you have given permission to access your Facebook account
- To delete a third party application just click the ‘x’ and the click ‘Remove’ in the pop up window
I’ve seen some survey scam postings recently and have alerted my friends and they have alerted their friends that they should remove the post and any offending third party applications they don’t recognise.
Safe surfing folks!