Perceptive Facebook users have come to expect a certain amount of scams and malware on the site, and know how to handle them; it’s generally pretty easy to tell what’s fake and what isn’t. However, a new scam, called out by software architect Troy Hunt on his blog, is a bit more sophisticated and camouflaged than your typical Facebook con.
It’s rather insidious indeed. The scam emails you a link purporting to take you to a video or other viral Internet meme. Instead, it takes you to a totally normal-looking Facebook log-in screen. Once users log in, it prompts them to update their security settings and credit card information. However, the whole thing looks seamless, just like Facebook. As Hunt points out in his blog post, the scam has none of the typical red flags of spammy websites, from the sloppy spelling to poor punctuation. Only one thing gives it away: the URL of the site is faceboourk.com. It’s close enough to fool many users who aren’t paying close enough attention.
The malware preys on two things: users’ built-in trust of Facebook, particularly the imagery of the reassuring blue background, and the desire to instantaneously find out what the web is buzzing about. It’s sneakier than most Facebook scams, but it teaches an important lesson: be vigilant of what you’re clicking, and if prompted for your personal information, take a close look at the website you’re using.
We’ve often encouraged our readers to never click links in emails. Instead, bookmark the main site (like Facebook) or navigate there directly yourself. This will help you steer clear of socially engineered scams like this one.
DoNotTrackMe protects your privacy by blocking online tracking. Abine – Online Privacy Starts Here.
BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.
PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.