Facebook users warned over ‘free iPhone’ scam

Carrie-Ann Skinner, PC Advisor
6 October, 2010
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Facebook users are being warned about a scam that claims they can get their hands on a free iPhone.

According to security firm Sophos, a number of social networkers have reported their status being updated automatically with phrases such as “Just testing Facebook for iPhone out : P Received my free iPhone today, so happy lol… If anyone else wants one go here” with a link to a Facebook app.

Sophos says the updates are being posted by rogue applications and any Facebook user that clicks on the link are asked if they want to “allow” the app access to their Facebook profile. They are then directed to a web page which will earn commission for the spammers behind the scam. Subsequently, the rogue app then has access to a user’s profile and can post a similar status update on their Facebook page automatically

“If you’ve fallen for this trick, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a new iPhone,” said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.

“Facebook users need to learn to think before they ‘like’ and ‘share’ suspicious pages on Facebook. Just because something appears on a friend’s wall, it doesn’t mean that it is from a reliable source, and by giving unknown applications access to your Facebook page, you could unknowingly continue to help to spread scams and earn cash for the spammers.”

Cluley advised social networks that had been affected to delete the status updates remove the offending application from the Application Settings menu.

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