The latest survey scam doing the rounds on Facebook works by falsely offering to change the profile of prospective marks from blue to red, black or shocking pink.
Typical lures state: “Switch to Pink Facebook (Limited Time!) [LINK] Say goodbye to the boring blue profile and say hello to the pink profile!!”
If users follow these links, they’re first told they need to share the link with their online friends, further spreading scam messages, or alternatively are invited to offer endorsements for the link. Surfers are then invited to complete a worthless survey, earning scammers a commission in the process.
Survey scams have become endemic over recent months and the latest scam is, in truth, noteworthy mainly because the "prize" on offer is especially lame. More details of the scam – including screenshots – can be found in a blog post by Sophos here.
Sophos points out that it is possible to customise the colour of Facebook profiles without becoming unwitting participants in a privacy-threatening survey scam. "There are number of GreaseMonkey scripts which will work alongside the Firefox web browser to customise the look of Facebook – just as the look of eBay or GMail can be similarly changed on the fly if you choose," it notes.
"Clearly there's a demand for such customisation – even if it serves no practical purpose. But just make sure that your hunger for a pink-themed Facebook doesn't lead you into a scheme designed purely to earn money for scammers."
Facebook is rolling out Timeline as a "new" feature to replace traditional user profile pages. True to form, this feature has also become the target of survey scams over recent days, net security firm Eset warns.
An infographic on Facebook scams, and tips for avoiding them, can be found in a blog post from Check Point's Zone Alarm personal firewall division here. ®