Free Apple iTunes Giftcard scam spreads on Facebook

July 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Security News

Facebook users are being tricked into helping scammers earn money, in the mistaken belief that they will receive a free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard.


We have seen a number of Facebook users posting messages like the following onto their walls:

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam

Free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard
Limited time left, get yours now!


Clicking on the link takes you to a webpage which urges you to “Share” the message with your Facebook friends before you can go any further.


Apple iTunes Giftcard scam


You should, of course, always treat such requests with suspicion – but that hasn’t stopped many people unwittingly help the scammers to spread their links far and wide across Facebook.


Apple iTunes Giftcard scam being shared


Perhaps you noticed that you still haven’t been given a free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard at this point. Instead, the scammers would like you take a survey.


Apple iTunes Giftcard scam


Clearly they have no qualms about using Apple imagery to try to trick you into believing that the campaign is endorsed in some way by Apple itself.


This type of survey scam is all too familiar to regular readers of Naked Security. The scammers earn commission for every survey they trick people into completing – and your chances of ever receiving an iTunes Giftcard are close to zero.


Apple iTunes Giftcard scam


But it’s too late for your Facebook friends, as you have already shared the link with them – and so the scam spreads across the social network as users pass it on between eachother.


Of course, if you have fallen for the scam, it’s a good idea to remove all references to it from your Facebook page and warn your friends not to participate in it.


Apple iTunes Giftcard scam


If you use Facebook and want to get an early warning about the latest attacks, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 100,000 people.


By Graham Cluley @



Rogue Facebook apps can now access your home address and mobile phone number

January 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Security News

In a move that could herald a new level of danger for Facebook users, third party application developers are now able to access your home address and mobile phone number.


Facebook has announced that developers of Facebook apps can now gather personal contact information from their users.


Request for permission to access home address and phone number

I realise that Facebook users will only be allowing apps to access this personal information if they “allow” the app to do so, but there are just too many attacks happening on a daily basis which trick users into doing precisely this.


Facebook is already plagued by rogue applications that post spam links to users’ walls, and point users to survey scams that earn them commission – and even sometimes trick users into handing over their cellphone numbers to sign them up for a premium rate service.


Now, shady app developers will find it easier than ever before to gather even more personal information from users.


You have to ask yourself – is Facebook putting the safety of its 500+ million users as a top priority with this move?


Wouldn’t it better if only app developers who had been approved by Facebook were allowed to gather this information? Or – should the information be necessary for the application – wouldn’t it be more acceptable for the app to request it from users, specifically, rather than automatically grabbing it?


It won’t be take for scammers to take advantage of this new facility.


My advice to you is simple: Remove your home address and mobile phone number from your Facebook profile now. While you’re at it, go through our step-by-step guide for how to make your Facebook profile more private.


By Graham Cluley @



How to clean-up your profile after a Facebook survey scam By SOPHOS

December 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Security Channel

Identical twins meet on ChatRoulette? Another Facebook survey scam

September 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

Have you seen messages on Facebook like the following?

Facebook identical twins Chat Roulette message


OMG! Look what happens when identical TWINS meet on Chat Roulette!
OMG LOL!! Twins meet for first time ever ON CHAT ROULETTE!! rofl --->> <LINK>


OMG! Look what happens when identical TWINS meet on Chat Roulette!
Doubt they will be using Chat Roulette again
OMG LOL!! Twins meet for first time ever ON CHAT ROULETTE!! rofl --->> <LINK> <<<--- sooo funny ...

It is, of course, the latest attempt by scammers to earn a few bucks by tricking you into visiting the link.


You might be intrigued by the thought of identical twins happening across each other on ChatRoulette, but the page you are taken to is going to force you to “share” the content with your online friends before it will actually let you see anything.


Facebook identical twins Chat Roulette message


And even then, you’ll be nagged to take an online survey (earning the scammers some commission). My advice is that you shouldn’t make this type of scam worthwhile by agreeing to take the survey – often you’ll find that the content you want isn’t waiting for you at the end of the process anyway (and if the video content exists, chances are that it’s also on YouTube for free).


So, all you’re really doing is helping the scammers earn their ill-gotten gains, because your account has now publicised the link to others claiming that you’ve “LOL’d” even though you haven’t seen any actual video content at this point.


Account sending out messages about identical twins on Chat Roulette

It’s a seedy dirty trick – so don’t play into the scammers hands, and think more carefully before you next “like” or “share” a suspicious link on Facebook.



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