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Issue 130 - May 2012 (1st Edition) - Page 15

'Switch To Green' Facebook Survey Scam

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Outline
Message appearing on Facebook Walls claims that users can switch to a green Facebook Profile by clicking a link in the post.



Brief Analysis
The message is a scam designed to trick users into installing a rogue app and participating in bogus online surveys. Participants will never receive their "green" Facebook profile as promised.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 19th April 2012
First published: 19th April 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Switch To Green Facebook Profile (LIMITED TIME ONLY)
April 30, 2014 in Mombasa, Kenya
Join

Switch To Green Facebook Survey Scam




Detailed Analysis
According to this message, which is currently being posted across Facebook, users can switch their Facebook profiles to green by clicking a link to an event.

However, the message is not legitimate. In fact, it is a typical Facebook survey scam. No amount of clicking or subsequent participation will result in the user receiving a green profile.

Those who fall for the ruse and click the link in the spam message will first be taken to the following "Event" Page and instructed to join, share the event, and post a message on the Event page's Wall:

Switch To Green Event page

They will also be instructed to click a further link to install the "Change2Green" app:

Switch To Green Rogue App

Next, they will be presented with a page that shows a supposed preview of a green profile and asks them to identify as either US or UK users:

Switch To Green Country Option

Next, a popup box like the one shown below will appear:

Switch To Green Country JavaScript Message

After they click the "OK" button, they will then be taken to a series of bogus survey pages in the understanding that they must participate in one or more of the surveys before receiving their green profile. Some of the "survey" pages ask users to provide personal information including name, address and contact details, ostensibly to allow them to go in the draw for a prize. Others invite them to download dubious toolbars, games or software. Still others will claim that users must provide their mobile phone number - thereby subscribing to absurdly expensive text messaging services - in order to get the results of a survey or go in the running for a prize:

Suvey scam subscription page



The user will soon find him or herself caught in a confusing tangle of open webpages, all offering supposedly free gifts or services in exchange for participating. Often, trying to exit the pages will call up various "alerts" that try to convince the person to stay on the page rather than navigate away.

The people who set up these scams earn a commission via a dubious affiliate marketing system each and every time someone completes an "offer" or "survey". While affiliate marketing is a legitimate method of conducting business online, some participants are more than willing to use reprehensible and underhand tactics to increase profits, including the offer of non-existent gifts or prizes via Facebook survey scams.

At the end of the process, the hapless user will still not have a green Facebook profile. Moreover, the user will have promoted the scam via his or her own Facebook profile and also installed a rogue application that will spam his or her friends with even more garbage.

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References
What is a Facebook Survey Scam? - Survey Scams Explained



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Issue 130 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Fake Microsoft "Anti-spoofing Update" Notification Email
  2. Facebook Survey Scam - Free Pair of Ray-Bans
  3. New US Presidential Coins Omit "In God We Trust"?
  4. Warnings Claim Thousands May Lose Internet In July 2012
  5. Facebook Sweepstakes Advance Fee Scam
  6. Facebook Message Asks For Boycott Of Subway Store Due to Staff Treatment Of Autistic Child
  7. Hoax: HIV Infected Blood In Pepsi
  8. '22 Foot 2500 Pound' Crocodile Photo
  9. 'DGTFX Virus' Email Account Phishing Scam
  10. Bank Of America 'General Account Update' Phishing Scam
  11. Photos of Elephants Inside the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia
  12. Miracle in Egypt - Buried Children Saved By Jesus
  13. Bogus Verizon Wireless Bill Email Points to Malware
  14. Boeing 797 Hoax
  15. 'Switch To Green' Facebook Survey Scam
  16. Phishing, Malware and Survey Scam Campaign - 'Click Here To See Attached Photos'
  17. Yahoo 'E-Mail Account Exceeded' Phishing Scam
  18. Hoax - June 2012 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays