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Issue 114 - May 2011 - Page 14

Facebook Rogue App Survey Scam - BBC News Check What She Did on Cam

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Outline
"BBC News" messages appearing on Facebook that include an image of a young woman suggest that users click a link to "check what she did on cam".



Brief Analysis
The messages have no connection to BBC news. Links in the messages open a rogue Facebook application, that, if installed, will post further spam messages and try to trick users into divulging personal information and signing up for expensive SMS services via bogus surveys or games.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 12th April 2011
First published: 12th April 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
BBC News
Everyone do check what she did on cam .... --- http://tinyurlxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Scam Post - Everyone do check what she did on cam




Detailed Analysis
"BBC News" messages currently appearing all over Facebook suggest that users click a link to "check what she did on cam". The messages include a photograph showing a young woman, presumably the "she" featured "on cam".

However, the messages certainly do not come from BBC news. In fact the messages are spam promoting yet another rogue Facebook application. Clicking the link opens a Facebook application that requests permission to access your Facebook data, photos and videos and post to your wall:

newz rogue survey app

If you give permission by clicking the "Allow" button, the application will post further spam promoting itself via your wall and via "tagged in a photo" messages.

The app then loads a blacked out "video" page obscured by a pop-up window claiming to be a "Facebook Verification Spam Bot". Supposedly, you must complete one of the surveys listed in the pop-up window as verification before being allowed to see the video:

newz rogue survey app

Clicking the survey links takes you to third party spam survey sites that try to fool users into signing up for absurdly expensive SMS "services", ostensibly as a means of getting survey results or going in the draw for a prize. One such site I reviewed during testing asked me to enter my mobile phone number to find out my score in a music knowledge test. However, entering my number would have subscribed me to an SMS service billed at $13.20 every two days along with a $13.20 joining fee:

Enter mobile phone number for score

Another of the survey links leads to a site hosting an online "game of skill". To play, the user is instructed to enter a mobile phone number. Again, by entering the phone number, the user is actually subscribing to an SMS service billed at $6.60 every three days plus a joining fee.

In some cases, such survey links may attempt to trick users into downloading spyware or trojans via "free" games, toolbars or other applications. Others may share information supplied via surveys or prize applications with spammers or unscrupulous "marketing" firms.

Typically, those responsible for this and other survey scams will receive a commission whenever a person fills in a survey, an application form, or provides their mobile phone number. This is the motivation driving such scam attempts.

This article describes just one of a great many such rogue app survey scams that are currently targeting Facebook users. The tactics used by survey scams keeps evolving. Be very cautious of installing any Facebook application promoted in posts like the one shown above. Any claim that you must install an app just to see a video, view images, or read a "news" report, should be treated with suspicion. Moreover, if an app claims that you must fill in a survey to "verify" your Facebook account, then it is certainly a scam. No legitimate app would ever require such a "verification".

If you have already installed a rogue app, try removing it by going to Account/Privacy Settings/Apps and Websites. You should also try to delete any spam messages that the application has posted on your Facebook page.

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Issue 114 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. False Warning - Do Not Add 'Jason Lee' Because Its a Virus
  2. Amber Alert Hoax - Fake '72B 381' Abduction Alert Continues To Circulate
  3. Fake Order Notification Emails Carry PDF Exploit
  4. Padlock on Facebook Home Page Hacker Warning Hoax
  5. Tsunami Deep Sea Creatures Email
  6. Hoax News Report - Japan to End Whaling
  7. Visa Card Violated Phishing Scam
  8. Facebook 'Virus' Alert - Twilight the Movie Link 'Worst Virus Ever' According to Facebook and CNN
  9. Prayer Request for Injured Soldier Tony Mullis
  10. Inaccurate Warnings Claim ALL 'bit.ly' Links Are Suspect and Should not be Clicked
  11. Facebook Non Secure Browsing Warning
  12. Facebook 'Trojan' Warning - Girl Who Killed Herself In Front Of Web Cam Video
  13. Do Circulating Photographs Show a Mass Fish Death In California Caused by the Japanese Tsunami?
  14. Facebook Rogue App Survey Scam - BBC News Check What She Did on Cam
  15. Google Promotion Award Advance Fee Scam
  16. Facebook "Your Password is Not Safe" Malware Email