Scam Signature Message: Sup [Name]! Olive Garden is supplying free dinner plates for one month! Pick up your food now!! [bit.ly]
*Please note: this scam is being spread by the rogue application making comments on a friend’s link, photo, status update, etc. This could be especially dangerous since many people might lower their guard when a comment appears genuinely from a friend. This is far more deceitful and tricky than just spamming a message to a newsfeed. In the example below, the spam message is shown as a comment on a friend’s status update.
Scam Type: Survey Scam – Rogue Application
Trending: March 2011
Why it’s a Scam:
Once you click on the Wall Post link, you are taken to the following page:
This page requires you to access this site with your Facebook credentials via “Facebook Connect.” If you do proceed, then you are taken to the following screen that asks you to install the “Olive Special” Facebook application:
If you do agree to install the application, you must agree to give the application developer full access to your basic information, post to your wall and access posts in your news feed. Granting the developer this access allows them to spam their message on your News Feed and by posting comments on your friends status updates, links, photos, etc. You should never give a third party application this much access unless you are 100% sure of their intentions and authenticity. If you do proceed with the application install, you are taken to the following screen:
We are seeing more and more of these marketing gimmicks on Facebook lately. To redeem the “free dinner plates,” you are required to complete 13 sponsor offers. Not only is this a ridiculous hoop to jump through, and will cost you a lot of money in the end, but the scammers are acquiring a treasure trove of your personal data. You will be required to provide your name, address, phone numbers and date of birth. This will enable the shady marketers to not only spam your Facebook account, but also harass you via snail mail, phone calls and text messages.
How to Deal with the Scam:
If you did make the mistake of installing the application and passing the link onto your friends, you should clean-up your newsfeed and profile to remove references to the application (click the “x” in the top right hand corner of the post).You also need to access your privacy settings and remove the application from your list of approved Facebook applications. (Account/ Privacy Settings/ Applications and Websites.)
If you made the mistake of submitting your cell phone number for any of the surveys, then you should contact your carrier immediately to keep any bogus charges from appearing.
If you or your Facebook friends are falling for tricks like this, it’s time to get yourself informed of the latest threats. Be sure to join the Facecrooks page on Facebook to be kept informed of the latest security issues. Also check out: